Manchester United v Chelsea: I'm not looking forward to this!
I am trying to be positive, I really am, but I just cannot see us coming out of this one with anything against United at Old Trafford.
As Branislav Ivanovic has said himself, we are not playing well and despite the return of some big guns tomorrow, I can’t see us winning; and to say that the night before a big game is something!
Don’t get me wrong; I know that on paper, we have the players to rip United wide open and players who can create and score goals such as Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Oscar and Demba Ba; but we have turned into a side that is up and down from one game to the next, almost like Jekyll and Hyde if you will!
I have a feeling that the two main problems Chelsea have had this season (with one addition since November) will be exposed by United and it will become as clear as day watching the game.
Firstly, United have the flexibility to change formation in an instant and in doing so, still have a balance to their side. Playing 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 4-2-3-1 or even 4-1-4-1 – these are options Sir Alex Ferguson has at his disposal.
Chelsea remain stuck in their 4-2-3-1 formation and when things aren’t working, have no “Plan B”. It’s been our biggest problem this season. We have no option to change our formation even though it seems we have players that could play in a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 formation. The managers refusal to tighten things up at the back and to remain solid has been our downfall.
The second biggest problem Chelsea have compared to United is choice up front. It’s Torres or Demba Ba and that’s it. For United it’s Van Persie, Rooney, Welbeck or Hernandez and to have them all available to choose from has played an important part in the success of their season so far.
Thirdly the additional problem we have had since November – Rafa Benitez.
This guy is ridiculous, he really is. His team selections at times are a mystery, his tactical substitutions leave a lot to be desired and he is more of a reactive manager, not a proactive one.
When I say that, I mean he will wait and wait until making a decision to take someone off and most of the time it’s the wrong choice. What he should be doing is taking the initiative from the bench to make things happen rather than wait.
If Eden Hazard starts tomorrow and Chelsea are a goal down chasing the game, expect Benitez to take him off!
United are playing well with far more options in relation to players to call on in certain areas and in their playing style and I really am dreading this game tomorrow.