Matchday 1 / August 11, 2019: Manchester United v. Chelsea FC

Discussion in 'Chelsea' started by Brock Hannsen, Aug 6, 2019.

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  1. Brock Hannsen

    Brock Hannsen Member+

    Feb 3, 2014
    Hartford, CT
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Manchester United v. Chelsea FC
    Sunday, August 11, 2019
    Old Trafford, Manchester
    11:30AM EST / NBCSN (US)

    The first match of the 19/20 season sets us up against Ole Gunnar's Manchester United, who finished 6th place in the League last year. Chelsea, finishing 3rd and winning the Europa League, moved on from head coach Sarri this summer, replacing him with club legend, Frank Lampard.

    Chelsea, under a transfer ban until summer 2020, have managed to stay busy during the close season, introducing January signing Christian Pulisic into the fold while making Mateo Kovacic's loan permanent. The club also inked long term deals with young hopefuls Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount. Will Callum Hudson-Odoi be next? Shuffled out of the mix were Gary Cahill, Gonzalo Higuain, Alvaro Morata, and Eden Hazard, who has found greener pastures (and pockets) at Real Madrid.

    Manchester United, seeking to strengthen their squad after a disappointing season at the hands of both Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, have brought in Wan-Bissaka at right back and Harry Maguire in central defense along with the speedy, but untested winger Daniel James. Romelu Lukaku's future at the club is both confused and unresolved, as is Paul Pogba's. Both players would like a change of scenery, but how that gets done is another matter entirely.

    Injuries: (Chelsea) Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi, Antonio Rudiger, Reece James, and Marco Van Ginkel are all out. Kante and Willian are questionable. (United) Bailly, Fosu-Mensah are both out. Paul Pogba, Perreira, and Alexis Sanchez are all questionable.

    Recent head-to-head matches have not been kind for us. We last defeated United in May 2018 in the FA Cup final. This result was preceded by a 2-1 League loss in February 2018 and followed up by two draws and a loss across all competitions.

    Manchester's preseason has gone well, defeating all opponents by knocking in 12 goals to their 3. Chelsea suffered a humid defeat in Japan, but looked confident, if not inconsistent, in their other match-ups, winning three and drawing one.

    Prediction: United 3-1
    Manchester have a deeper squad than Chelsea at the moment but the key will be for Ole to synthesize the team to maximize it's potential. It's hard to see where the goals might come from for our West London club. Frank Lampard's system is an all-inclusive one that may lead to a wider distribution of goal production post-Hazard, but question marks abound: Ross Barkley's consistency, Mount and Abraham's inexperience, neither Kovacic or Kante are tasked with scoring goals, Michy's unfulfilled potential, Willian's desire and age, CHO and RLC's health, Pedro's slow-drip drop in quality, Pulisic's familiarity with the league, etc. More alarming is the defense, where few changes were made this off-season. The loss of Rudiger and Kante would be a blow for any team's defense, so here's to hoping they can remain/stay healthy and come back into the squad very soon. In the meantime, David Luiz and Andreas Christensen will have to avoid (or limit) the seemingly avoidable mistakes we've seen from them over the years.
     
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  2. yasik19

    yasik19 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 21, 2004
    Daly City
    0-0
     
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  3. StamfordBridgeLions

    Sep 4, 2016
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    They have injuries and we have injuries. They have some new players to settle in as do we. Fear of losing is the name of this game. Both teams really cannot afford to lose. 1-1 draw.
     
  4. Blueallthru

    Blueallthru Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    May 15, 2012
    The Interwebz
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    I really don't know what to expect here but just like Yanited got the new gaffer bump, I'm suggesting we do here as well and we win this in wild fashion 3-2.

    Our pace is what we've truly lacked in recent seasons and one of the reasons sides like Liverpool and Citeh have been so devastating.
     
  5. Kerry Dixon's Boots

    Staff Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    77 degrees
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    Slabhead will score at least once from a corner against our static back line. This is probably going to be a clunky affair with brief moments of Pulisic shining. I'll take a draw but we most probably lose as I think Utd need this more than Chelsea.

    It's opening weekend so really hard to call. This whole season is hard to call.
     
  6. Kazuma

    Kazuma Member+

    Chelsea
    Jul 30, 2007
    Detroit
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Finally! Prem is back!
     
  7. StamfordBridgeLions

    Sep 4, 2016
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
  8. Brock Hannsen

    Brock Hannsen Member+

    Feb 3, 2014
    Hartford, CT
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    I'd pay for a draw right now.
     
  9. Blueallthru

    Blueallthru Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    May 15, 2012
    The Interwebz
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Think we have to line up as such.

    Kepa
    Dave Zouma AC Emerson
    Jorginho Kova
    Pulisic Barkley Pedro
    Giroud

    That starting 11 leaves a lot to be desired. Hope I'm wrong, but I don't feel very good about this any more.
     
  10. Brock Hannsen

    Brock Hannsen Member+

    Feb 3, 2014
    Hartford, CT
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    -Has Giroud started any pre-season matches? He must have.
    -I forgot about Jorginho! Yes, I think he starts, but if Kante is demmed fit, he'll start ahead of Kov. I think you're correct about the rest.

    As for United - something like:

    DeGea
    Bisakka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw
    McTominay, Pogba
    James, Lingard, Rashford
    Martial
     
  11. Blueallthru

    Blueallthru Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    May 15, 2012
    The Interwebz
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    I think we have to have Kante start if he's fit, I just don't think he will be or is. He, Rüdiger, and Willian need to get back ASAP though. Also, getting RLC back really changes us. Especially if we play as a 4231.
     
  12. Ninjatend0

    Ninjatend0 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 10, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    the summer excitement was from what the team could turn in to. now that first game is here, the worry starts to take over as we don't actually have a lot of players available through injury. we have a horrible run at the start of the season considering the condition of the squad.
     
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  13. Blueallthru

    Blueallthru Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    May 15, 2012
    The Interwebz
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Good news here is that Lamps said in the presser today. Rüdiger is back in training and Willian is close to being match fit.

    My guess is both Kante and Willian are on the bench and Rüdiger is probably a couple weeks away from really returning. Kante and Willian are likely fine but will be held back just not to aggravate anything.
     
  14. Blueallthru

    Blueallthru Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    May 15, 2012
    The Interwebz
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Also, this is totally where I'm at. I don't feel a top 4 is on the cards today. I feel like the only squad in the top 6 not drastically better than us is Yanited and I don't think Solsksjaer makes it to the end of the season.

    I'm also thinking that Everton have drastically improved. Are they improved enough to finish above Wolves or anyone in the top 6? Probably us....
     
  15. Dtrip77

    Dtrip77 Member

    Jun 10, 2009
    N NJ!!!
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The thought of playing against a high pressing team with Zouma and AC at the back scares the crap out of me.
     
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  16. lobomojo

    lobomojo Member+

    Jul 17, 2004
    santa fe
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Who on Arse or ManU, outside of the strikers obviously at this point, and the 80 million dollar man, would be a sure starter, or a probable starter on our Squad:confused:
     
  17. Blueallthru

    Blueallthru Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    May 15, 2012
    The Interwebz
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    No idea but doesn't change how I feel. Not entirely sure we have many who would start for them.
     
  18. Ninjatend0

    Ninjatend0 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 10, 2007
    Denver, CO
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    but if the discussion is about what team is more prepared to finish 4th you have to take strikers in to account. not only do they have strikers that would start in our squad they have multiple strikers or attackers that would and that depth is what can win you games (if you don't lose them in the back *arsenal). now, we couldn't buy a striker, but that doesn't matter when you are just comparing squads for this season.

    arsenals entire front 3 would likely start over ours right now. Aub, Lacazette, Pepe would all fit in to any of our front 3 positions. you could make a case that CHO and Pulisic will eventually come good but certainly a striker that can actually score goals gives them a huge advantage.

    likewise, Martial at united and perhaps rashford, either could take our current number 9.

    now, to your point, i like our midfield, a lot actually. and our defense is pretty solid from a player perspective (worried about how it's coming together at the moment) but i think LB could be kind of up in the air between all three clubs right now on the best player. and Utd CB pairing could prove to be quite good, but i'd put that on par right now with ours.
     
  19. Kerry Dixon's Boots

    Staff Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    77 degrees
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    Top 4 is definitely possible but things do have to break right for us. We also need to be realistic that our starting point isn't last seasons points total. Hazard is a substantial factor in how well we performed last year. Without him I think we are at least 10 points, if not more behind.

    1. Lampard has to be able to adapt to the Premier League very quickly (reputation and intelligence can take you only so far, he has to prove he has the tactical chops to succeed at this level). I obviously love Frank as a player, I am far from sold on him as a gaffer yet.

    2. We HAVE to be lucky when it comes to injuries. Our depth will continue to be shallow until we can restock. Our old players are older, our young players, unproven. We cannot have RLC or CHO rushed back and miss additional chunks of time.

    3. Our younger players, by and large, have to step up. If only one or two of the newer squad players emerge we are bang in trouble. So much of our season (and seasons ahead) rely on breakthroughs from multiple players (and for Pulisic to be what we all hope he is).

    4. A goalscorer needs to emerge. I don't care who it is, but we cannot have Tammy, Giroud, Bats etc share 15 goals in the league. For us to really grab 4th, without Hazard to paper over cracks, one or more has to become a reliable scorer of goals. My biggest concern is that we don't have a double digit league scorer by the end of the season.

    So yes, 4th is possible but a fair amount needs to go well. Which is why I see this season as a rebuild where 4th is less important than establishing Frank and the new players as long term viable in their respective roles. I don't want to bounce around 4th in perpetuity, I'd rather take a step back and be ready to be in title fights within the next few seasons.
     
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  20. yasik19

    yasik19 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 21, 2004
    Daly City
    4th would be a miracle. City, Pool, and Spurs are a lock for top 3. Arsenal, at least on paper, are stronger than us. And United is as "solid" as we are. I just can't see us finishing 4th. To your comment on injuries, it comes with the territory and it WILL happen. We don't have much depth, so expect that to be a big factor.
     
  21. Yahtzee

    Yahtzee Member+

    Nov 4, 2013
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    I'm blown away how anyone could rationally have this mindset after we finished third last season. United still blows. Arsenal definitely still blows. I mean, it's not rational. 4th is a very distinct possibility for us.

    My position may change completely based on what happens over the next month but as of now? The doomsday talk in here is so.********ing.old.

    /end rant

    Uhh.. even given my position that we aren't that bad, idk what to expect given how unpredictable and stale of a team United are. I like our chances if Kante starts.
     
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  22. yasik19

    yasik19 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 21, 2004
    Daly City
    We had Hazard last year....we don't now.
     
  23. Yahtzee

    Yahtzee Member+

    Nov 4, 2013
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Once Pulisic bags 50 league goals we won’t remember Eden. HAVE FAITHHHH
     
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  24. lobomojo

    lobomojo Member+

    Jul 17, 2004
    santa fe
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Lamp's philosophy is exactly what this team has needed most and been lacking the last several too static years, and what was his as a player's greatest under-recognized strength

    "“That’s actually my first call: how fit and how hard we can work without the ball, before talking about what we can do with the ball."

    "Then of course we have to be an aggressive team off the ball. We have to be a team who teams don’t like playing against because of how hard we work off the ball, and don’t like playing us because we’re really good on the ball. You can always strive for more in both departments.”

    https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1164104/Chelsea-news-Man-Utd-Premier-League-Frank-Lampard
     
  25. StamfordBridgeLions

    Sep 4, 2016
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Zouma was going to be the new Desailly at one point I guess we shall see. I would feel more comfortable with our German back there though.
     

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