By News Team
26th November 2021
Former Chelsea star Shaun Wright-Phillips claims his former side are “scaring” teams at the moment, as was evident in their midweek Champions League match against Juventus, and he believes Manchester United will fear the trip to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The Blues host the Red Devils with Thomas Tuchel’s men sitting top of the Premier League, and Wright-Phillips praised his side for their tenacity, physicality, and strong defensive unit in recent performances. The former winger even went as far as saying that Chelsea’s 4-0 win against Juventus on Wednesday was like watching “men against boys”.
“It was an unbelievable performance,” said Wright-Phillips. “It was almost like watching men against boys. I don’t know what tactics Juventus came to Chelsea with, but it was lightyears away from what they should’ve done. Tactically, they weren’t there, and all credit goes to Chelsea for making Juve do that and it showed Chelsea are scaring teams at the minute.
“The way their back three are playing is unbelievable. They don’t give up many chances, they are so strong, and they are just so physical and technically good. Thiago Silva has been massive for them. He’s a leader. If he’s not playing, then he’s in the crowd shouting and cheering. To come to the Premier League at 37 years old when it’s such a quick pace, he can read the game and has such great experience and the way he’s helped shore up the defence is crucial.
“What’s important is they are scoring goals from all over the park too. If it isn’t a midfielder or striker then (Antonio) Rudiger is chipping in, or you see Chilly (Ben Chilwell) coming forward and grabbing a goal too. It opens people up to have that responsibility that they wouldn’t usually have in other teams, so it’s fantastic to see so many players scoring in the team.
“He (Thomas Tuchel) has got them working hard for each other and playing really well, so I just can’t see Man United getting anything from this game at the weekend to be honest.”
And while Chelsea’s players haven’t struggled for goals, which might have been expected following Romelu Lukaku’s spell on the sidelines due to injury, Wright-Phillips believes everyone will be delighted to see the Belgian back available for selection this weekend.
“I’m very happy he’s back as he can go back in my fantasy football team!” joked Wright-Phillips. “That’s the thing about great teams…you don’t always have to rely on goals from your No.9. But knowing Rom, he wants to score in every game, and he wants to have chances and challenge for that Golden Boot and help Chelsea win titles. He has the capability to do that, and he’s coming into a Chelsea team who are playing well and I back him to take them and start scoring again.
“I’m going 2-0 or 3-0 Chelsea for the game. I also have to say Reece James for a goal, he’s just playing unbelievably and he’s another one in my fantasy team!”
Wright-Phillips was reminded that it’s been four years since Chelsea’s last win against Manchester United in the Premier League, but that doesn’t stop him from thinking that the Blues will sweep aside Michael Carrick’s team at the weekend.
“I most definitely expect that to change this weekend!” said Wright-Phillips. “From what I’ve seen from Manchester United and what I’ve seen of them against the top three clubs, they don’t show enough or compete enough to win any of those games.
“They showed that against Liverpool and Manchester City, who both steamrolled them, and for City it could’ve been four or five at half-time. Liverpool were more clinical. For United to compete with Chelsea they’ll have to dig very deep.
“I think one thing people don’t doubt is United’s ability and their great bunch of players. They have an international goalkeeper, defence, midfield, strike force…so it comes down to whether or not Carrick can change how they play and figure it all out in such a short space of time. If they weren’t up against Chelsea this weekend then you might fancy them, but Chelsea have been in form for a season and a half, so it really is going to be difficult for them.”
Chelsea face a tough run of fixtures in the coming weeks over the festive period, and Wright-Phillips believes that if they can come through that spell unscathed and top of the table then it could be difficult to stop the Blues juggernaut.
He said: “The Christmas period, as we know, is so tough. It comes thick and fast. The fact they’ve just lost Ben Chilwell is a massive blow, because that little rotation they had will need to stop and now (Marcus) Alonso will need to play every game. It’ll be tough but overall, they have the depth in the squad to still do that (rotate).
“I don’t see who they would need to buy in January, because you’ve seen before with teams who win titles that they don’t always need to go and buy new players, as they can stick with what they have. They are one of Europe’s best teams at the minute, so where do you look towards to strengthen?
“There’s rumours about Eden Hazard coming back…and I can’t believe I’m going to say this about the man, but where does he play? You’ve got Callum (Hudson-Odoi) playing well, (Christian) Pulisic looks back to his best, then you’ve got Mason Mount, Ross (Barkley) and (Ruben) Loftus-Cheek too.
“They might never reach the heights that Eden Hazard did at Chelsea, but they’re doing fantastically well and why would you want to upset that for a player you don’t know whether he’s going to get back to where he was?”