Which supervisor will come out on prime when Manchester United and Chelsea do battle? — RT Sport Information
Manchester United and Chelsea both got off to the wrong start of the new Premier League season, but neither Old Gunnar Solskjaer nor Frank Lampard can afford to give up in the big clash at Old Trafford on Saturday.
It may seem premature to say, but Saturday afternoon’s game between relative manager newbies Solskjaer and Lampard has a pretty weighty feel in the context of the new Premier League season.
Last year, these two historic rivals separated by goal difference in third and fourth place. However, with both Liverpool and Manchester City showing signs of devaluation since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there appears to be an opportunity to fill this gap.
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Saturday’s game at Old Trafford will go a long way towards this. Solskjaer and Manchester United have had an occasional hot start to the season.
An empty, cavernous Old Trafford doesn’t have quite the same authoritative feel as it does when it’s crammed with nearly 80,000 followers. Possibly this was a factor in United’s home defeat to Crystal Palace and their impressive 6-1 loss to Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur.
The Norwegian won a thrilling Champions League win against Paris Saint-Germain this week to calm his nerves, but in the red half of Manchester, constancy has been a rare commodity lately and is being put to the test by Frank Lampard and his galaxy of big money stars.
With the assistance of Roman Abramovich, Lampard has been overseeing spending in west London for a summer since the dawn of the Russian billionaire empire at Stamford Bridge. Last season’s transfer ban and club legend Eden Hazard’s exit gave Lampard a resource that Chelsea managers didn’t often find – time.
With a season of reviewing what it would take to get Chelsea back into the European elite, Lampard decided to pour Abramovich’s millions into a variety of signings. Hakim Ziyech from Ajax came first, followed by Timo Werner from RB Leipzig, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy.
The effort is, as one suspects, at the expense of Lampard’s most important raw material last season. Expectations are higher this season, and with it comes the pressure – something no Chelsea manager was immune to during Abramovich’s reign.
Even so, there were signs of improvement at Stamford Bridge. The signings are starting to subside but, very worryingly, the defensive weaknesses that caused so much consternation last season seem not to have been fully addressed.
And maybe that’s why the crunch collision is such a fascinating encounter. Manchester United and Chelsea remain the most successful clubs of the Premier League era and a return to the top division can only come at the expense of the other, in one’s opinion.
The game at Old Trafford will go a long way toward figuring out which of these two imperfect teams will prevail over another. It can be argued that both Solskjaer and Lampard are successful – but can they too, especially in direct competition with one another?
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