After the eventful week of UEFA Nation League, the club football did eventually return and so another fresh game week for the Premier League has nearly passed by. The fixtures were lit this time as the forever rivals Manchester United and Chelsea will face off tomorrow. Under the new manager Maurizio Sarri, the Blues are dominating the English league with no losses and being unbeaten so far. Chelsea are at present in third place after the 2-2 draw against the Red Devils, behind Manchester City and Liverpool.
On the other hand, the Manchester based side are at present in 10th place, with only four wins and three major losses and a couple of draws. The fans have gone furious already on the Portuguese manager and the match against the Blues was important for the chosen one to show his worth.
Jose Mourinho was there at Stamford Bridge before as a manager when he gave more than that everyone expected from Chelsea. This time it was a reunion for the Portuguese manager though United were barely to land their full strength team in their away match.
United midfielder and former Chelsea player Nemanja Matic is still not completely fit and though he and Luke Shaw did make it to the team, he will have to work really hard to maintain his fitness now.
On the other hand, the 23-year-old left-back has fought his own way back into the squad and Jose Mourinho’s plans after his long-term injury from a double-leg break. Shaw looks good and has been in good form so far this season.
Moreover, he was pulled out of the England squad for the matches against Croatia and Spain. It was described as a ‘small setback’ and that had even raised doubts for the game at Stamford Bridge, though he did make it back on time.
Argentine defender Marcos Rojo is reported to be still injured where the Red Devils are short of natural left-footers who can fill in for Shaw. This also means that Ashley Young or Matteo Darmian would have had to deputize in west London.
According to the reports, Shaw was assessed by United’s medical staff at Carrington HQ this week and it is reported that they have deemed the ankle problem as a minor one and he did impress eventually once on the pitch.
Though the former Chelsea midfielder Matic pulled out of international duty with Serbia and has looked rather rusty, he is still a favourite for Mourinho. The 30-year-old went out to face Montenegro and Romania with his country, but United have recalled the Serbian, suggesting that he would be staying at the Old Trafford to continue his rehabilitation.
Matic had two spells with the London based club and made more than 150 appearances while Jose Mourinho was in the charge of the Blues. Thereafter, the Portuguese manager joined the Old Trafford based side in the summer of 2017 and the midfielder too followed him the previous season.
Whether he can help his new team win a league title or not, remains to be seen now. Mourinho does have the option of playing Fred in a defensive midfield role, though things have not worked out for him according to plan so far.