It goes without saying that Chelsea v Manchester United is the biggest game in the Premier League this weekend.
The return of domestic football is always a welcome one. United may not be at the races so far this season, but it’s a relief to see the back of international football for another while.
We’re up against a strong outfit too, playing with an attractive brand of football and winning matches, as Chelsea sit in second place yet level on points with league leaders and current champions Manchester City.
Paul Merson has given his Premier League predictions for the week, as per Sky Sports, and thinks Chelsea will be too strong for United.
The former Gunner states that the intense pressure Mourinho was under prior to the win over Newcastle will reoccur if he fails to beat his former club.
“Over the years I’ve always said Manchester United turn up for these big games and seem to be able to grind it out, but at the moment they let in far too many goals. Their result against Newcastle covered over all the cracks. I’ve got to go with Chelsea, I think they will be too strong for United.
“If United do lose, the pressure will almost certainly crank up again on Jose Mourinho. At the start of the season, we were talking about them being in the title race but now they are fighting for the top four. They are seven points off the top of the table at the moment and with a defeat on Saturday the gap could increase to 10, that’s good night in terms of the title race.”
Merson predicts a 3-1 home win for the Blues, which is currently priced at 14/1 with Sky Bet.
It would be harsh to criticise Merson for this one given how good Chelsea have looked so far this season. They’re miles away from us even though we finished 11 points above them the last term, but football evolves and Chelsea made the decision to bring Maurizio Sarri in to replace Antonio Conte.
The new Italian boss at Stamford Bridge is already loved by the fans, though it will probably end in tears as it did with Conte, who won a Premier League title in his first season.