Danny Murphy wonders: ‘Can United Stop Hazard? Can Chelsea Stop Lukaku?
The former Fulham & Liverpool player highlights the key tactical battles anticipated in the FA Cup final between Man United and Chelsea on Saturday.
•Murphy writes in Evening Standard:
”Eden Hazard has that magic ability to change a game in a heartbeat
and Jose Mourinho knows that, so how Manchester United
set up to stop him will be key.
”In the past United have put Ander Herrera on Hazard,
and Mourinho could ask him to do the same job again. Herrera has that
low centre of gravity and burst of pace that can help him stay with
Hazard and he did such a good job last time.
”Does Mourinho employ the same tactic or do United play their own game,
where players pick up Hazard when he comes into their areas?
Hazard is the one player, if fit, who can hurt United badly
so it will be interesting to see how that maps out.”
•However, that’s not everything to concern the former Fulham player.
He is not convinced by Chelsea’s midfield against United’s:
N’Golo Kante is a definite starter and then Antonio Conte has to decide on
the likes of Tiemoue Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas. Facing Herrera,
Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba, Chelsea need to be wary of being outnumbered
in the middle of the pitch.”
•Another worry is how Conte will tackle Romelu Lukaku, if the latter is indeed fit to play:
Chelsea need to play quite deep against Romelu Lukaku and try to
break out with Willian and Hazard’s pace.
”Lukaku enjoys playing against a high line, with his power and speed.
I think Chelsea will condense the space and make it hard for him.
He will have to get balls into feet and it will be interesting to see how that develops.
It is important Chelsea’s back three hold a good line.
You do not want one too far in front of the other and space for
Lukaku to run into behind.”