‘The pressure is on’: Chelsea look to stretch their unbeaten run to 11 as they take on Manchester United

Chelsea v Manchester United @ Stamford Bridge 

Sunday February 7 @ 16.00

The blockbuster fixture of seasons gone by no longer holds the stardust it once did as Chelsea take on Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

West London will be party to a different kind of double Dutch this weekend, as Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink welcomes compatriot and fellow professional Louis van Gaal to the Bridge.   

Hiddink is unbeaten in his last five competitive games against his fellow countryman and the Blues boss didn’t have many comforting words for the Manchester United manager.

Hiddink said: “He has to perform, there is pressure and there is big ambition, the pressure is on and they have to cope with that.

“We have a professional relationship, we haven’t met that much, in Holland a few times, we have both had a long career.”

Hiddink will look to be extending his unbeaten run in the Premier League to eight games and move just eight points behind the Red Devils, remarkable considering the Blues’ tragic start to the season.

He said: “The team is step-by-step more stable, and now we hope to go into a beautiful spring-time.”

The last meeting between these two clubs ended in a draw and despite the difference in their league positions the omens lay in Chelsea’s favour.

Man United have lost more to Chelsea than any other club in the Premier League era – Man United have only won once in their last 13 visits to Stamford Bridge.

Van Gaal remains positive however, coming off the back of perhaps their most convincing win of the season, a 3-0 victory against a tricky Stoke side.

Speaking after the game, the United manager said: “In 2016 we have only lost against Southampton. Maybe we have more confidence [now] – I cannot say [for sure that] now we have more confidence.”

Wayne Rooney, who has always been integral to United’s form, will be hoping to build on his player of the month award for January.

New Chelsea signing Pato will face a longer lay-off than first expected as he fights his way back to full fitness.

Speaking on the Brazilian, Hiddink said: “Pato is in his pre-season, he’s doing a training plan most days at least twice, he’s not at full fitness yet.”

Image courtesy of Chelsea FC via YouTube, with thanks

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