This weekend’s Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea has been deemed by many as the match which will decide who wins the title. Others think it will go down to the wire, to the last match of the season. Whatever happens if Chelsea lose on Saturday they will need Manchester United to slip up somewhere, something which seems more and more unlikely.
The mid-week Champions League quarter finals have had some impact on the title race. Firstly Wayne Rooney limped off in the final minutes in Germany after United lost to Bayern Munich. England fans feared the worst but it’s only minor ligament damage, he will be ok for the World Cup but will definitely miss the Chelsea clash. Music to Chelsea fans ears. Saying this, a Rooneyless United beat Bolton at the Reebok 4-0 last weekend, Chelsea will still need to play at their best.
Arsenal also suffered a major blow. Captain Cesc Fabregas scored a vital penalty against Barcelona but then limped around the Emirates with an injury. Scans have revealed that Fabregas has a small crack in his fibula and will be out for six weeks, missing the rest of the season. This comes as a serious blow to Arsenal who could still win the double.
Both sides have won their last few games but the pressure on the players will still be immense. Chelsea know that winning is a must, and Captain John Terry knows too well that his side must be at their best. In a press conference he said: “There is so much on the game on Saturday and the way we have played the last couple of games, we have to take that momentum and that same game plan into this match.”
The referee chosen to take this crucial game is Mike Dean, someone who is familiar to both Sir Alex Ferguson and Carlo Ancellotti. 17 months ago Sir Alex was given a two match touchline ban and a fine for blasting Mike Dean. Then more recently Dean was in charge of the Chelsea v Manchester City game in which Chelsea lost 4-2 and had two players sent off. It was only last weekend that Dean was in the headlines, again for the highly controversial penalty he gave Blackburn against local rivals Burnley. The defeat could see Burnley leaving the top flight, referees can make or break clubs.
Even if Chelsea manage to overcome the forces at Old Trafford there subsequent fixtures are hardly a walk in the park. Chelsea have to travel to White Hart Lane, where Tottenham are pushing for fourth place and are clearly not going gift Chelsea the three points. Then there’s Anfield, a nice trip to Liverpool, another game which will prove difficult for Ancellotti’s side. United’s fixtures look slightly easier with the Manchester Derby proving their toughest fixture after this weekend’s clash. After Saturday’s match the Premier League’s fate may be decided, we will have to wait and see.