Chelsea seek to overcome Manchester United hurdle

LONDON –Chelsea will face an in-form Manchester United as they try to move one step closer to the Premier League title at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Saturday

Stoke City             vs       Southampton   4pm

Leicester City       vs       Swansea City    

Everton                vs       Burnley            

Crystal Palace      vs       West Brom

Chelsea                 vs       Man United       6:30pm

Sunday

Man City               vs       West Ham          2:30pm

Newcastle            vs       Tottenham        5pm

LONDON –Chelsea will face an in-form Manchester United as they try to move one step closer to the Premier League title at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Jose Mourinho’s table-toppers are currently seven points in front of second-placed Arsenal, who are involved in FA Cup semifinal action against Reading this weekend.

Third-placed United are a point further back, having played a game more than Chelsea, but Louis van Gaal’s men will arrive in London on a run of six successive wins.

Chelsea need just 12 points from their seven remaining matches to win their first league title since 2010 and while a defeat on Saturday wouldn’t spell the end of their challenge, it would give the chasing pack a glimmer of hope.

The Blues’ form over the whole season was reflected on Thursday when the Chelsea pair of striker Diego Costa, currently the Premier League’s joint top-scorer on 19 goals with Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, and the gifted Eden Hazard were among the six nominees for England’s Professional Footballers’ Association Premier League Player of the Year award.

Last week Mourinho said Hazard was “by far the best player” in the league and it was a view backed up by Chelsea attacking midfielder Oscar.

“In my opinion he (Hazard) is the best player in the Premier League at this moment,” Oscar told Goal. “Hazard has been so consistent and he deserves to be considered as the best player in England.”

Meanwhile, former United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar said fellow-Dutchman van Gaal was the right man to bring the glory days back to Old Trafford.

Van der Sar, who won four titles at Old Trafford, said his old club would be in serious contention to lift the Premier League trophy next season, even if it was likely to prove just beyond their grasp this term.

“With a little bit of luck, they could have done that this season but for Chelsea winning a lot of those games with late goals – but let’s hope so,” van der Sar told United’s website.

Faltering champions Manchester City, now 12 points off top spot, will look to ease the pressure on manager Manuel Pellegrini with victory at home to West Ham on Sunday following last week’s 4-2 derby defeat by Manchester United.

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