Manchester United and Chelsea will battle it out on Sunday in the ongoing wild dash for the top four spots in the Premier League. No side can afford to slip up as a loss here would mean the end of their bid for the Champions League.
Here, we take a look at why this game might turn out to be more than just three points:
#1 Rebuilding stage for both teams
Chelsea and Manchester United are both going through a similar stage. Both teams have not been performing at the level they are used to and fanbases are slowly getting agitated. Questions have been raised about the morales of both teams and if several seasoned players are good enough to continue for their clubs or not.
United, after a horrendous initial spell, gained some form over in January. Their glory was however short-lived soon as they started losing consecutive matches and performing below par. What is even more astonishing is that United, who beat PSG in the Champions League, lost to Everton 4-0 in what was an absolute drubbing at the hands of the Toffees.
Chelsea's so-called possession-based football has continued to do them no good as they have been failing to keep up the pressure on the top four by losing 2-0 to Liverpool and then drawing against Burnley 2-2.
#2 Uncertain Managers
Sarri and Ole have not had the best time as the managers of their respective clubs. While both started out positively, their forms have very easily disappeared and long-term questions are being asked. Chelsea's fanbase has been chanting "Sarri Out" in almost every match while United's fans are getting frustrated with Ole. Both managers are sitting on the edge of their seats and know that anything less than a top-four finish might just prove to be the final nail in the coffin.
Sarri's tactics have been very questionable in recent times. Be it deploying Hazard up front against Liverpool or refusing to change formation against the Burnley wall, Sarri has faced a lot of criticism from every football fan.
Ole was welcomed amid much fanfare but has failed to make Old Trafford the fortress it was. He hasn't been able to instill the positivity in the dressing room and it is clear that players like Paul Pogba and David de Gea are not giving their best.
#3 Players' Future
Chelsea and United have questions being raised about their best players. Romelu Lukaku has been openly admitting his love for Serie A and his dream to play there. Paul Pogba has been continuously linked with Real Madrid with coach Zinedine Zidane openly admitting that he would love to have Pogba at Madrid.
Chelsea have the best left-winger in the world. That is because Eden Hazard is much better than Neymar and Ronaldo is more of a striker than a winger. Eden Hazard is a die-hard Real Madrid fan ever since his childhood. He has admitted on numerous occasions that he wishes to play at the Bernabeu. This is a real problem for Chelsea as there has been no team dependent on a single player and Chelsea are depending on Hazard.
Tomorrow's game promises to have it all -- drama, emotions, action. Everything will be on display. And everything will be on the line -- managerial terms, players' futures, Champions League football. It promises to be a cracker of a contest with the better side emerging on the other side.Published 27 Apr 2019, 22:42 IST