Manchester United take on old rivals Chelsea in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Sunday. It will be an enticing battle between two sides going through a transition of their own and with Chelsea being hit with a transfer ban, their fortunes have gone from bad to worse.
The game is also being billed big because it will feature a match-up between two former rival players who have now become managers of their respective sides - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for Manchester United, and Frank Lampard for Chelsea. It will be Lampard's first Premier League match in charge of Chelsea while United are starting their first full season under Solskjaer.
We pick out three key battles within the battle which you cannot afford to miss on Sunday at Old Trafford.
#1 Anthony Martial vs Andreas Christensen
Manchester United's new number nine Anthony Martial will be eyeing to get on the scoresheet in the first game of the new season when Chelsea pay a visit to Old Trafford on Sunday. The Frenchman had to give up the number nine shirt when Zlatan Ibrahimovic came to the club in 2016 and had shown, in the eyes of a famous journalist, "a passive resistance towards it."
He will now be itching to show the Old Trafford faithful what tricks he carries in his bag. Having said that, Andreas Christensen, who is expected to start in defence for Chelsea, will be a tough nut to crack and Martial will have a job on his hands. The Dane has been waiting a long time to get an opportunity to play in the Premier League and the departure of David Luiz to Arsenal will finally give it to him.
#2 Paul Pogba vs Jorginho
The midfield tussle in this game between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday will be dominated by Paul Pogba for the Reds and Jorginho for the Blues. The Frenchman will be itching to get a good start to the season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer just as the Italian-Brazilian, who plied his trade for Napoli under Maurizio Sarri will be.
Pogba is a key player for United and he can really put the heat on Chelsea who can be a bit vulnerable at times in midfield. It's unclear if N'Golo Kante will be fit to start at Old Trafford but in case he doesn't, Jorginho's role will be even more amplified in the center of the park for the Stamford Bridge outfit.
#3 Olivier Giroud vs Harry Maguire
Following the departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid and Gonzalo Higuain to his parent club Juventus after a short loan spell, Frenchman Olivier Giroud is expected to start as the centre-forward for Frank Lampard's Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday. Giroud is brilliant in the air and can also cause a few problems to opposition defenders with the ball at his feet.
However, he will be up against United's new signing Harry Maguire, whose transfer fee broke all records when it was announced on Monday. Maguire is a technically sound defender who is brilliant in the air and is someone who is widely renowned for his ability on the ball. This one will be a battle to watch out for.Published 11 Aug 2019, 17:26 IST