What’s the best way to beat this Chelsea side? Attack them.
Looking at the balance of this Manchester United squad, it’s fairly obvious where its strength lies – in the front third. If United go to Stamford Bridge on Sunday, and play passively, they will get unpicked. Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Oscar and Fernando Torres are too potent to be subdued for ninety minutes, and United’s defence isn’t up to that task.
If you watch Chelsea’s last Premier League game, what’s striking was their inability to deal with a very under-strength Tottenham. Of course, going forward they were irresistible, but Spurs caused Gary Cahill and David Luiz far more issues than their available personnel should have been able to. Defoe, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Clint Dempsey, Aaron Lennon? That’s nothing more than an above average quintet.
Can you imagine what kind of joy Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez would have had against them. The one commodity you need when facing a side containing Rooney and van Persie is concentration and discipline, and if there are two qualities conspicuous by their absence from that Cahill/Luiz combination… you know where I’m going with that. Focus in on the obvious weakness – defence and deep-midfield – and match your biggest strength up against it.
It’s the old cliche: attack is the best form of defence, and giving Chelsea that triple-threat to worry about is the best way to disrupt their rhythm. You have everything in that trio: creativity, guile, pace, intelligence, poaching ability – it would be far too hot for Chelsea to handle. Add into that the relative success all three of those players have had against this opposition, and it’s a clear decision to make.
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