3. Edouard Mendy vs. David de Gea
This game could be won and lost by the manager’s tactics or by virtue of VAR, but the two individuals most likely to impact the outcome are those between the sticks. Edouard Mendy and David de Gea kept everything out of the back of the net in the last game. The two put on a goalkeeping clinic in the goalless draw with the Senegalese shot-stopper’s diving save keeping the Blues from dropping all three points late.
Mendy and de Gea have been two of the Premier League’s best this season, combining for 18 clean sheets across 43 matches played. They have played a large part in allowing both Chelsea and United to catapult up the table. Further, Mendy’s helped clean up the mistakes at the back for the Blues and transformed them into one of the best defensive teams in the division.
All of that being said, the two can be awfully shaky at times.
The story of de Gea’s career over the last few seasons is perfectly told through his tendency to turn up as his world class self or have a horrible day at the office. Nobody knows this better than Chelsea, who put two past the Spaniard in last year’s FA Cup semifinal by virtue of two horrendous blunders. This is the main reason Man United kept Dean Henderson around this season. De Gea is still the Red Devils’ No. 1 man between the posts, but he’s walking on thin ice.
Further, Mendy has been humbled a few times over the last few months. The former Rennes keeper got off to a superb start to life at Stamford Bridge, but a few positional mistakes and scary moments with the ball at his feet have left Blues fans concerned on numerous occasions. Mendy’s mistakes are nowhere near as bad as de Gea’s, he has shown he has a few in him though. After all, nobody is perfect. Mendy’s uneasiness in possession has led to some questions regarding a potential revival of Kepa Arrizabalaga’s Chelsea career, so he needs to keep performing well to disprove those rumors.
In the grand scheme of things, these are two goalkeepers that are insanely skilled and amongst the best in the world. The Blues and Red Devils have some incredible attacking talent, so both keepers will need to have impressive outings to give their side the best shot at three points.
What are the key clashes you’ll be keeping an eye on? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!