On Saturday, the Premier League will witness one of its biggest games when Chelsea travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will face off against Frank Lampard. Both clubs are two of the most successful English teams over the last two decades.
However, these two teams are now charting new paths, having both employed their ex-players as managers. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard both had their first full seasons as managers last season with Manchester United and Chelsea, respectively.
While they both did well, managing to finish in the top four, neither could end the season with silverware. Manchester United made it to three semi-finals, yet won none of them, leading to a mixed 2019-20 season.
Chelsea had a similar story last season, exiting the Carabao Cup and UEFA Champions League early, before succumbing to Arsenal in the FA Cup final. But another trophyless season will not acceptable this season.
Could a loss put Solskjaer or Lampard's job in danger?
In the personal battle between Ole and Lampard, though, they met four times last season; the former winning three times while the latter won just once.
As they come face to face once again, there is enormous pressure on both managers. Solskjaer has had some good moments in his tenure, but his side has rarely been consistent.
The Red Devils often win the tough games, but just aren't good enough to sustain it for longer periods, especially when the stakes are high.
Lampard, on the other hand, is not even settled on his best XI yet. Despite spending over €200 million in the summer, the Blues don’t look any different from the side they were last season.
Chelsea this season have been either very good, or very poor. On a day when they show defensive solidarity, their attackers fail to fire. And on a day when their attackers finally show some ruthlessness, the defense crumbles.
A game between Manchester United and Chelsea is always a big one, but Saturday’s encounter means more than just three points for the managers involved.
Both managers are under pressure and are likely to face even more scrutiny should they lose this game.
After a convincing victory over PSG in the Champions League, Solskjaer will look to finally build on it and lead his team on a consistent run.
Lampard will also be looking to return to winning ways after a mixed performance against Sevilla in the Champions League.
For two managers who have been maligned and tagged as lacking tactical nous by some fans, there is all to play for at Old Trafford on Saturday.Published 24 Oct 2020, 18:02 IST