An in-form Chelsea side go to Hull tomorrow (Saturday) and where the reverse encounter was Mourinho’s first match back in charge of Chelsea and understandably full of emotion, this shall be a true test of how far the Blues have come under The Special One, and how strong Hull’s resolve is at home.
It is easy to expect a comfortable Chelsea win but one must consider Hull’s tremendous home form, winning five, drawing three and losing just two of their home matches thus far, conceding only six goals during the process. Hull were criticised for being goal-shy at home in their opening matches but a 6-0 drubbing of Fulham quashed all the talk in some style, and seeing off Middlesbrough in the FA Cup with an assured 2-0 victory can only mean they come into the game with high hopes of pulling off a shock.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have started 2014 tremendously, recording a 100% win record, five goals scored and none conceded.
Key Players To Watch
OSCAR: The Brazilian is on fire this season having been given a vote of confidence by Mourinho who asserted him as Chelsea’s number 10, much to the detriment of Juan Mata’s career. The fans can have little to complain about now though, as Mourinho’s initial justifications that the playmaker is more suited to the role, given all his creative, Brazilian flair have proved correct. The youngster works tirelessly for the team’s cause, tracking back diligently, tackling superbly, not to mention adding in the assists and goals. A tremendous talent and Mourinho may be getting the best out of him.
EDEN HAZARD: Another to look out for is Hazard. Deployed in the left-wing position often, the Belgian is certainly not a winger, and it seems baffling that defenders never quite seem to understand that the former Lille man will nearly always cut inside and go for goal. Regardless, even if the defenders did know, Hazard possess wonderful attributes, good pace and phenomenal abilities to go past players, if they do not cynically hack him down. Another confident individual who can light up the game on his own and maybe that is due to the work of Mourinho.
ALLAN McGREGOR: The excellent statistics highlighted above regarding Hull’s proficiency at the back when playing at home can come down to this man. In the reverse, opening-day fixture against Chelsea, McGregor was the one to preserve the scoreline at 2-0, saving Lampard’s penalty and making many strong reflex saves. Whilst there may still be a little lack of confidence in Torres or Eto’o to produce the goals, the likes of Oscar and Hazard shall certainly mean this man has got to be up to his very best.