It’s safe to say that following United away from home last season was a slightly different experience from previous seasons. Every other week, I’d meet up with the boys and we’d all say the same thing; “I really hope we smash someone away from home for a change”. It never really happened. Last season United took just 25 points away from Old Trafford all season. So far this season in just 11 games they have taken 26 points.
So what’s changed?
Taking a look at the below you can see straight away that a combination of tightening up at the back whilst being more ruthless in front of goal with the possession that they have had, has meant a much happier travelling Red Army this season.
So all in all a pretty positive picture, yet as I make the trip to Stamford Bridge on Sunday, there’s no doubt that I will be heading there with a slight sense of dread. Due to not getting a ticket for the Champions League game last season, I’ve never actually seen United win at the Bridge in person. Seven visits, three draws, four defeats…Not great. However it’s not hard to see why this season I feel slightly more optimistic than usual. United have conceded just seven goals in their 11 away games this season (three of them at Newcastle), whilst Chelsea have managed just eight goals in their last eight games. Makes good reading to me, yet I still need convincing.
As shown above United appear to have been more clinical in front of goal on the road yet if you look at the stats from last season’s game they didn’t do nearly enough with the possession that they had and will need to create a lot more in front of goal if they are to be successful for the first time in the league since 2002.
As I mentioned in my first article, United now have more than enough firepower to go to Chelsea and get a win. The Blues are in a similar position to Arsenal in reality and United had no real problems sweeping them aside a couple of weeks ago.
United’s current strike partnership of Rooney and Welbeck both have happy memories of playing at Stamford Bridge from last season with Rooney grabbing a goal in both the league and European ties, whilst Welbeck notched one in Sunderland’s shock 3-0 win as well. And if that’s not enough, Hernandez also managed to get on the score sheet in the two games played at Old Trafford.
A look at the form guide over the last six games shows that United are firing on all cylinders in front of goal averaging 2.3 goals a game whilst Chelsea are struggling for any real form at the moment.
United should have nothing to fear this weekend but must take their chances if they are to get a vital 3 points.