That’s Odd: Manchester United and Chelsea reignite old rivalry
While the Indian Super League will be looking at a thrilling conclusion to their league stages this week, the English Premier League teams’ struggle to balance their domestic race and European ambition will continue.
With uncertainty and restlessness going hand in hand in both the leagues, we try to put two big games of the week under a statistical scope to help you predict the outcome better.
Chelsea vs Manchester United
Six points separate Manchester United and Chelsea in the points table. While the Red Devils sit second with 49 points after winning 14 of their 25 PL matches, Chelsea sit with 43 points after winning 12 times in the same number of matches.
However, what makes this clash vital is the massive advantage that the winner will get. While a win for United will further them in their race for a UEFA Champions League finish, a Chelsea win will bring them extremely close to United as well as in the top four.
The fact that both United and Chelsea have remained unbeaten in their last five league matches further make the competition more intense. Manchester United lead Chelsea 81-55 in head-to-head, but the Blues have managed to get better results of late.
After managing to eliminate United from the FA Cup semi-final last year, away from home, the Blues managed a 0-0 draw at the Old Trafford earlier this season in the league.
Player to Watch Out for: Bruno Fernandes
Despite the turnaround that Thomas Tuchel has managed to get in Chelsea since taking over from Frank Lampard, the Blues have found it difficult to score goals, something Bruno Fernandes has aced in. The attacking midfielder has scored 15 goals and assisted 11 times for United so far, becoming the lynchpin in their every offensive move. Any scoring outlet coming for United at the Stamford Bridge will most likely come from the Portuguese international.
Mumbai City FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan
The season has taken a horrible turn for Mumbai City FC after the Islanders led the ISL points table for the most part of the season. Sergio Lobera's free-flowing football has suddenly been compromised with the side losing three of their last five matches.
Their challengers for the top spot, ATK Mohun Bagan have reinvigorated since their winter transfer window. The imports of Marcelinho and Lenny Rodriguez has provided the perfect balance for Antonio Lopez Habas's team, which has won four of their last five matches.
Six points separate ATKMB (40) and MCFC (34) with the latter having a game in hand. MCFC still have the challenge of Odisha FC to overcome before they face off with ATKMB for the top spot, but Lobera's men are expected to go past the Juggernauts fairly easily, given the bottom-placed side has won once and lost 11 times this season.
Player to Watch Out for: Roy Krishna
Despite the clash having so many stars in the field on Sunday, February 28, at the GMC Stadium, no one possesses the game-changing acumen that Krishna has. The Fijian international leads the Golden Boot race with 14 goals and the amount of workload he endures to keep his team on top is unparalleled.
The rise of Manvir Singh on the right is hugely down to the work rate put by Roy Krishna who comes down to the midfield to collect the ball and then create chances for ATKMB's wingers. The no. 9 is expected to be his team's focal point against Mumbai City FC yet again, and after MCFC defeated ATKMB in the return fixture the Kolkata giants will be all fired up.
Feature Image Courtesy: AFP/ Oli Scarff