Will José Mourinho's time at Old Trafford end at the hands of his former employer?
The international break is finally over, and the Premier League makes a barnstorming return in the form of Chelsea welcoming Manchester United to Stamford Bridge in the Mark Bosnich Derby. The hosts brushed aside a pretty pathetic Southampton outfit 3-0 at St. Mary’s a fortnight ago; re-affirming their already growing title credentials. Eden Hazard is looking unplayable these days, they are playing attractive football and sit joint-top of the Premier League – things are looking up for Chelsea these days.
Things aren’t quite so rosy up in Manchester (the red side, anyway), as the weekly José Mourinho circus appears to be in full swing, but the inevitability of his fate is becoming increasingly apparent. Their comeback against Newcastle – a very, very poor Newcastle – was impressive, but the players got themselves into that mess originally, and the rate at which United are conceding goals (a very un-Mourinho-esque trait) is not sustainable.
The Newcastle win feels like a stay of execution for Mourinho, particularly because United have played just one of last season’s top-six and have still done poorly, and I’m backing Chelsea heap yet more woe on the Red Devils.
United haven’t beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the league since 2012, and this is arguably (and there are plenty to choose from) one of the weakest Manchester United sides to visit Stamford Bridge since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
Chelsea look good. Manchester United look bad. Chelsea will win.
It seems like I back him to score every week – but he keeps scoring, so what’s the big deal? I appreciate I may sound like a broken record when talking about Eden Hazard, but Maurizio Sarri has seemingly taken his game to another level, and barring injuries, I think we already know our Premier League Player of the Season.
Until he starts letting me down, I’m going to keep backing Hazard to score until the cows come home, and this fixture is no different. United’s problems at centre-back have been very well documented – Mourinho playing centre-midfielders there, unsuccessfully, is particularly worrying – and considering only Fulham, Cardiff and Huddersfield have conceded more than United, Hazard will be licking his lips with glee.
Manchester United have kept just one league clean sheet this season and in the process, have conceded two goals or more in four of these matches.
Then we have Chelsea, who have score two goals or more in six of their eight matches.
Stats can sometimes be deceiving, but not this one; Chelsea are excellent going forward, and United are a mess at the back.
Chelsea to score two or more goals is my final tip.