Manchester United travel to Stamford Bridge to face Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side knowing that only a win will keep their slim title hopes alive. Louis Van Gaal’s side have won their last six Premier League matches and have all but secured a place in the top four this year. Meanwhile, only the title will suffice for the Blues, who have led the way at the top of the league for the majority of the campaign. We take a look at five of the key players that could feature in Saturday’s clash, and give our thoughts on who may come out on top.
The England and Manchester United captain has flourished after being given more responsibility this year and has been instrumental in United’s rise up the Premier League table. Playing as the lone striker, Rooney has been scoring for fun and has developed excellent chemistry with Fellaini, Mata and Young in recent weeks. If the Red Devils are to pick up all three points on Saturday, it is likely that the 29-year-old will have a key role to play at the centre of United’s attack.
The Belgian has been phenomenal this year and has looked a class above in a very good Chelsea team. Hazard has been nominated for the PFA Player of the Year this season, and his manager believes it will be a travesty if the 24-year-old does not win the award. The winger is the most fouled player in Europe this season, which says a lot for his ability to frustrate opposing defenders into committing challenges.
Oscar has been fairly quiet this season but the Brazilian still possesses immense talent and could have a huge role to play in Saturday’s game. The attacking midfielder has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge this summer, but he has stated that he is more than happy at the club. The 23-year-old is still learning and he needs a great performance to ensure that he remains at the forefront of Mourinho’s future plans.
The Belgium international – who joined the club in 2013 – has performed admirably this season and has featured regularly under new boss Louis Van Gaal. Fellaini has relished the opportunity to play in the ‘number 10’ role, and the 27-year-old has contributed with a number of goals this season – something that he didn’t offer to the club last year. He has certainly won the majority of supporters over this campaign.
After a slow start to the season, the Spaniard is now a regular under Louis Van Gaal and has impressed United fans with his energetic performances in recent months. The 26-year-old has scored some important goals this year – including a brace against Liverpool – while also assisting plenty for his team-mates. Chelsea let him go in the 2014 January transfer window and the Spaniard may come back to haunt his old side on Saturday.
Chelsea would take a point against the in-form Reds, but Van Gaal’s side will be tough opponents and give them a difficult encounter. This one could be a score draw, but both teams are capable of snatching the victory.