In-Form Willian Could Be Chelsea’s Key Man Against Man United

This Sunday, Manchester United welcome Premier League champions Chelsea to Old Trafford as both sides look to cement their places in the top flight’s Champions League places.

A lot of the media will concentrate on the friction between the two managers. Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is now United’s gaffer and he hasn’t been slow in starting arguments with current Blues manager Antonio Conte.

Yet when it comes to the final result, it will be the players on the park that will have the biggest say on who wins and one star who could influence things could be Willian.

It’s quite ironic that the Brazilian seemed to have had more opportunities under Mourinho than he’s had under Conte this term. Recently though Willian has been in superb form for the London club and his return to the first team could see him downing his old gaffer.

The attacker has scored four, created an assist and collected two man of the match awards in his last six appearances.

His Champions League performance against FC Barcelona in midweek was superb. He hit the woodwork twice before grabbing his side’s goal. He ran all game and seemed to find space with ease, not easy when against a pressing side like Barca.

Willian’s close control, passing ability and his dribbling are qualities that cause opponents problems. With Eden Hazard in similar form in the same team, it can be understandable that defences struggle to gain control of the ball when Chelsea are in full flow.

The twenty-nine year old has been in and out of Conte’s team so far this term but he seems to have regained his confidence and now making it almost impossible for the Italian to drop him from the starting line-up.

Worryingly for Man United, the Brazilian has warned that Chelsea and himself are just hitting their stride:

‘I’m always ready to score goals,’ 

‘I think the hat-trick is coming soon. I nearly scored one against Hull and against Barcelona.’

‘It is totally different to play in the Premier League to the Champions League. I think we can stay at this level, go to Old Trafford on Sunday and play another great game. We have to play in a similar way.’

If Manchester United want to nullify Chelsea, then stopping Hazard and Willian could be the key but that’s easier said than done. Especially when the duo are playing in such a rich vein of form and finding space or running freely with the ball.

Jose Mourinho respects Willian’s style but the Portuguese manager will be hoping that the forward doesn’t shine at Old Trafford. While Antonio Conte will be hoping that the Brazilian can have yet another inspirational outing and see Jose disappointed at the full time whistle.


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