Manchester United take on Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley this weekend. Modern-day finals see plenty of bets made online, with bitcoin betting a recent favourite, but there’s no denying that United are the bookmaker’s favourites (albeit marginally).
Obviously, the game is going to be an intense battle between two top Premier League sides, and more often than not, these matches come down to the odd mistake or individual moment of brilliance.
One player who is more than capable of lighting up the game is Eden Hazard. The Belgium international is arguably the best player in the country, and closing him down is always going to be a tough task.
Thankfully, Ander Herrera has a plan. The Basque-born midfielder wants it to be a team effort to stop Hazard, similarly to how the Red Devils completely shut him down last season.
‘If we want to stop him we need it from all of us, like we did at Old Trafford,’ Herrera told Graham Hunter in an interview.
‘I know I was the protaganist after the game because of the man-marking. ‘But if Jesse and Marcus, and Felli and Paul, who were in front of me, hadn’t done the job they did, Hazard would have received the ball.
‘They were playing with three defenders and Jesse and Marcus did not let those defenders come with the ball easy and then play to Hazard or to Willian. ‘I know I was on the front page the next day, but credit for Marcus, Jesse, Paul and for Fellaini, they were in front of me stopping that easy ball to Hazard.’
It really has to be a team effort, but that just further tells you everything you need to know about Hazard’s immense ability. Every single player has to remain completely switched on whenever he’s in possession. He will have moments where he gets free or manages to impact the match, but that’s normal when you’re dealing with elite footballers.
Hopefully, manager Jose Mourinho has drawn up the perfect game-plan as per usual, because we’re going to need to ensure every minor detail is taken care of before the big kick-off on Saturday evening.
The game itself should be an intense, defensive-minded battle, and I can genuinely see it being decided by one goal either way. My nerves are already jangling!