Venables on how Manchester United can beat Chelsea

Former England and Barcelona manager Terry Venables has given his verdict on how Manchester United must set up to beat Chelsea

Manchester United and Chelsea meet tomorrow in what promises to be one of the most exciting matches of the season to date.

Jose Mourinho's men travel to Old Trafford in the search of three points to really put a stranglehold on the number one position in the league; whereas United are simply looking for a catalyst victory to kick start their title ambitions.

Manchester United have the attacking talent of a Champions League winning side but look fragile at the back. And given their lack of experience in that area it can come as no surprise. A win for United, however, would see them leapfrog Arsenal in the league table and just a point behind West Ham in fourth place.

Chelsea, on the other hand, could move six points clear of Southampton in second with a win, but more importantly eight points clear of former champions Manchester City.

Former Spurs and Leeds United boss Terry Venables has written in the Independent on what Louis van Gaal must do to beat Chelsea tomorrow, stating his current approach won't be good enough. 

''United need to build an impenetrable seven-man wall: a tight back four with three midfielders sat just in front of them,'' stated Venables.

''That block of seven must be solid and prevent Chelsea from attacking through the middle, as they love to do with Oscar, Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic. United must push them down the wings and when the play switches to the left or to the right, United’s block must move as a unit with it. They must not leave wide open spaces, as Liverpool did[against Real Madrid], especially down the middle.''

The emphasis on stopping Chelsea through the middle is one that many critics and pundits reiterate as the best chance of stopping the Blues, and given their pool of talent in the middle you can see why. 

Nevertheless, Chelsea have a selection of players that are as capable on the wing as they are going through the middle. Players like Willian, Eden Hazard and Andre Schurrle can all operate down the wing as effectively as through the middle and it is nearly impossible to pin-point exactly where Chelsea are planning on hurting United. 

Venables, who would have met similar challenges as Van Gaal faces tomorrow during his illustrious career, has given a fair verdict on how Manchester United should meet the Chelsea game tomorrow, baring in mind the statistics of the season so far.

West Ham and Southampton, both of who have been labelled as defensive sides, have scored more than Manchester United and conceded equal or fewer than them, too. 

Louis van Gaal will set his side up to play a team with very few weak points tomorrow and if they don't defend well then they simply won't get the chance to attack Chelsea. Therefore, the emphasis should be on the defence.

The Dutch manager will have to play it smart, otherwise it could turn into an historic day at Old Trafford for the wrong reasons.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch