Paul Pogba has made it clear that Saturday’s trip to Stamford Bridge will be “very difficult” for Manchester United.
Jose Mourinho’s men have already conceded 14 goals in the Premier League this season; their 3-2 win over Newcastle United, whilst important for the group’s moral, did nothing to hide the inherent problems in this team.
To make things more ominous, Man United have only managed one Premier League win at Stamford Bridge since 2002.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Pogba made note of how these were the kinds of games you relished playing in as a top level footballer.
“For me, those games are the best games to play,” he said. “You play against the best players, you play against a big club, a big story. You play football to play those big games with a lot of pressure. That’s what you want to play.”
“You can see this season [Chelsea] have a lot of possession obviously, they are winning, they have one character you cannot miss in Eden Hazard, they say he is on fire, this time he is probably the best player in the PL right now.
“The team is going well, they have good results, for us we come back from the Newcastle game, 3-2 winning at home, we need points, so it’s going to be a tough one. I think they need points, we need points.
“The game is going to be very hard, we’re playing away. It’s a Chelsea vs Man Utd game, you know, so it’s a big one.”
The chances United have of winning at Stamford Bridge are very slim. But if Pogba does not turn up, United have absolutely no chance whatsoever.
Take the visit to the Ethiad last season – a game which showed United at their worst and at their best under Mourinho either side of half time.
In the first half, United played slowly, within themselves, crumbling in front of the watching world and, ultimately, lucky the game wasn’t out of sight at half time. Pogba, unsurprisingly, was invisible. After half time, though, United played without fear and attacking players started to make good runs, pulling City’s defenders all over the place. It was in this situation that the Frenchman thrived.
Mourinho, somehow, needs to ensure that the same mentality is present from the very start at Stamford Bridge.