The Premier League returns this weekend with Chelsea hosting Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. A month ago, the Red Devils would have gone into the game as outright favorites but things have changed in recent weeks.
The arrival of Thomas Tuchel has lifted Chelsea from a state of fragility to a side that is efficient in grinding out results. The Blues were badly underperforming under Frank Lampard but the German has managed to turn things around since replacing the former.
In the eight games that Tuchel has been in charge, Chelsea have won six and drawn twice. However, Manchester United are a totally different proposition.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side turned a corner in the course of the season and currently sit second in the Premier League, although their form has dipped in recent weeks.
Sunday’s game, though, would have direct consequences in the top-four race.
Tuchel’s biggest test as Chelsea manager
While Tuchel has had an impressive first month at Chelsea, he is bound to face his biggest test when his side plays against Manchester United. Interestingly, while Chelsea are on the rise, the Red Devils are facing their own downturn in form.
That said, Manchester United will be as formidable as they’ve always been. So far, Chelsea have faced teams with very little attacking potency during their unbeaten run.
However, a sterner test awaits against Solskjaer’s side, whose attack boasts of the sharp-shooting Bruno Fernandes and the pacey Marcus Rashford.
Atletico Madrid were supposed to test the Blues, but Diego Simeone’s uninspiring tactics ensured the game was a one-sided affair. Against Manchester United, though, it remains to be seen how Chelsea will cope.
Chelsea can take advantage of Manchester United's dip in form
While Manchester United currently sits six points above Chelsea, the Blues are the side in form. The Reds are currently going through a tough period, which has culminated in just two wins in their last six league games.
Manchester United’s recent dip in form has allowed their rivals to close in on them in the Premier League. The Reds were sitting at the top of the table just a few weeks ago, but are now battling for a top-four finish.
Chelsea can, therefore, take advantage of the Reds’ dip in form to get a favourable result from their upcoming game. The Blues have improved massively in defence and have what it takes to shut out Solskjaer’s side.
Having lost both home and away to Manchester United last season, this is the perfect opportunity to enact revenge. So far, it’s been a good run for Tuchel since he moved to Chelsea.
However, if there’s one thing that highlights the ultimate test, it is Sunday’s clash against Manchester United.