This season, we have watched Di Mateo’s charged Chelsea side swagger their way through English Premier opponents. We have seen the European kings win several league games at ease and two hard away wins against the Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspurs.
Manchester United’s visit to Stanford Bridge and the Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park provide the cream of the weekend action.
Well, prior to that, there are four other games, including Arsenal hosting Queen’s Park Rangers and champions Manchester City facing tricky Swansea at Etihad Stadium, but the hosts are predictably the winners.
Roberto Mancini’s team desperately need a quick bounce back from the 3-1 defeat to Dutch Champions, Ajax Amsterdam on Wednesday.
City’s hopes of qualifying from the Group of Death have waned like a moon and the Italian gaffer MUST now concentrate on defending the Barclays Premier League title.
Chelsea’s morale suffered a bit with the 2-1 defeat in the midweek away Champions League to Ukrainian side, Shakhtar Donetsk. But the reigning Euro champions still have a good chance of making it through the knockout stages.
Having said that, despite Manchester United’s comeback 3-2 win at Old Trafford against Braga, the Red Devils’ loopholes are larger than aria!
Ferguson said at the beginning of the season that he would play the strongest side in each group game “to avoid the slip-ups” that marred their last Euro glory attempt.
Yet on Tuesday, he rested Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra, even the fit Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia, mindful of the top-of-the-table showdown against Chelsea.
With the duo not in defence, United conceded two cheap goals but thanks to the witty Ferguson, the came back to win 3-2 with a congested midfield.
This current Man United team can crumble against confident opponents. Eight times, they have gone behind this season- and on six occasions they have come out winners but for how long can the trend continue?
This Sunday, they come up against a confident Chelsea side; with excellent options in every department.
They obviously have an excellent attack force in Fernando Torres, Daniel Sturridge, Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and creative midfield of Lampard, Oscar Ramirez and Victor Moses.
I’m sure, if the interchanging line displayed at Emirates is replicated at the Stamford Bridge, the vulnerable Red Devils’ defence is in trouble.
And of course, the Blues’ defence is better than the opponents; Ivanovic, Ashley Cole, John Terry, David Luiz and Obi Mikel sitting in-front of them.
The Red Devils have dominated the last five years but that was the old guard Chelsea with the oldest squad and not under Di Mateo. And it’s against this fact that I’m convinced the Blues will steal the show.