So much at stake
Merse says Man Utd v Chelsea isn't just about the title - it could decide the relegation scrap too!
Last Updated: 06/05/11 11:17am
If Chelsea win at Old Trafford they will go top of the table, but they'll still have a lot of work to do to win the league.
However, if Manchester United win the game - or even get a draw - then it's all over. Their last two fixtures are against Blackburn and Blackpool, while Chelsea are at home to Newcastle and go to Everton on the final day. That's not easy.
So the title could be decided on Sunday, but only if the result goes in United's favour.
It's worth pointing out that there's a lot of other things riding on this game for different reasons, including the relegation battle. All the fans of the bottom clubs will be watching this one because it could have a big impact on who goes down.
Blackburn and Blackpool fans will hope Man United win, so that Sir Alex Ferguson might play a second string against them. If United sew the title up then they might rotate to keep their players fresh for the Champions League Final.
But if Man United finish the game level on points with Chelsea, they'll need to score as many goals as they can against those two clubs because the title race could go down to goal difference. That's why fans of Wolves, Wigan and the other teams in the scrap will be hoping for an away win on Sunday.
So this game isn't just about the title. It's also about the relegation battle and the Champions League. A defeat for United would really mess up their preparations for facing the Barcelona machine!
To be honest, if United don't win the title this year it would have to go down as one of the biggest melts ever. People talk about Newcastle in 1996, but they weren't expected to win it that season. United have done it a million times and it would be a major shock if they messed it up.
Last week at the Emirates they didn't seem like a team that was desperate to get something to win the league. They were quite poor and were nowhere near as good as the team that won in Schalke just four days earlier. Ferguson must have been pulling his hair out because his team's form went from one extreme to another.
I think we'll see the normal Man United on Sunday and they're the favourites for the game in my eyes. Remember, they beat Chelsea home and away in the Champions League last month and that will have dented the away team's confidence. I think if Man United get an early goal they have a good chance of winning the game.
It's a fairly easy approach for Chelsea; they just have to go for it. A 0-0 draw is no good for them so they should play two up front and try and cause some damage.
You definitely have to play Didier Drogba, but I'd also throw in Fernando Torres and ask him to repay that £50million in this one game. He's got a good record against United from his Liverpool days, so why not?
I know he didn't play well against them in the Champions League, but he's scored a goal since then and Chelsea are on a roll now. They're much more confident than they were in those European games, so I'd play 4-4-2 and give it a go. They have to come off the pitch thinking that they did all they could.
People say Carlo Ancelotti needs to win the game to keep his job, but I still can't see why they'd want to sack him. He won the double last year and he might end up losing the league on goal difference this year. That's a very good record.
The owner has the right to make his own mind up, but Ancelotti won't be short of job offers if he leaves. People will queue up to appoint him and who are Chelsea going to get that's better? This has been a funny season for everybody and he deserves at least another year.
And if he's getting the sack then why is nobody talking about Arsene Wenger in the same way?
DRAW - This should be a good game between the two best teams in England at the moment. I'd like to see Chelsea win, but I just don't see Man United losing the game. Chelsea will want to open the game up, but United won't and it could be quite a nerve-wracking affair. I'm going to call it as a 2-2 draw, but there could be a heads-or-tails situation with one of them winning it late on.
MERSON'S MAGIC MAN
FRANK LAMPARD - Since Drogba has come back into form we've started to see the best of Frank Lampard. There will be an interesting battle in midfield and someone like Michael Carrick may have to track him, but if he falls asleep just once then the ball could end up in the back of the United net.