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Pressure points

Merse looks ahead to Super Sunday double-header

Paul Merson - Paul Merson Posted 19th March 2010 view comments

Manchester United and Chelsea will be hoping to boost their title prospects on Super Sunday... but it won't be easy.

United host Liverpool at Old Trafford and you can catch full coverage of one of the fiercest rivalries in football from 1pm on Sky Sports HD1.

And then from 3.30pm you can see if Chelsea can bounce back from their disappointing Champions League exit by winning at Blackburn Rovers.

Ancelotti & Ferguson: face big tests on Sunday

Ancelotti & Ferguson: face big tests on Sunday

Sky Sports expert Paul Merson gives his views ahead of both games.

Man Utd v Liverpool
1pm, Sun, Sky Sports HD1 & Sky Sports 1

If Liverpool can stop Manchester United winning the league, their fans won't mind if they don't win another game all season.

The two sets of fans don't like each other and Liverpool don't want United to overtake their record 18 league titles. A win at Old Trafford would mean a lot.

If this game was at Stamford Bridge it would be a great game to bounce back in, but this is a hard, hard game for those devastated Chelsea players. I don't think they'll be able to turn the negative into a positive, I really don't.

Paul Merson
Quotes of the week

Man Utd v Liverpool

1pm, Sun, Sky Sports HD1
Blackburn v Chelsea
3.30pm, Sun, Sky Sports HD1
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People say Liverpool have found a bit of form, but all they've done is beat a shocking Portsmouth team and I think they should be beating average teams like Lille.

So what do they do now? Do they stick or twist at Old Trafford? If I was Rafa Benitez I would go there and have a go at Manchester United. They should go and try to win the game.

If you have a go at United, you'll get chances. Fulham may have lost 3-0 last week, but they did have chances - and arguably better ones than Man United had. In the end Wayne Rooney was the difference.

But it's a difficult decision because if you gamble too much it could get Lionel. It could be messy and you can end up shipping four or five.

Knowing Benitez he'll try to keep it tight, but remember the 4-1 win at Old Trafford last year? There's no reason why Liverpool can't do that again. If Liverpool hit the front and go 1-0 ahead they are a top-drawer side; they can play 4-5-1 with confidence and pick teams off.

The problem is they haven't gone ahead many times this year. That's why the first goal will be so important on Sunday.

I would play Alberto Aquilani over Lucas. He won't give you the same level of energy but he will give you more of an attacking threat. They need that because there's no way Liverpool will keep United and Rooney to zero.

And if Villa and Spurs win on Saturday then this might become a must-win game for Liverpool. A draw might not be good enough for them, but it's easy for me to sit here and tell Benitez to go for it. He's the one that will suffer if it backfires and they lose 4-0 or 5-0.

However, United will be nervous after last year and they know Liverpool won't roll over. The United defence isn't watertight and the opportunity is there for Liverpool to win this game.

DRAW - Considering how poorly Liverpool have been playing, this is a very hard game to call. I think they have an unbelievable chance of going to Old Trafford and winning, but they will need a bit of luck and they probably need to score the first goal. This is the sort of game that will embarrass us pundits because it could go either way and it could be any scoreline. Either side could win, but I'm going to sit on the fence for once and go for a 1-1 draw.

Blackburn v Chelsea
3.30pm, Sun, Sky Sports HD1 & Sky Sports 1

Chelsea's defeat to Inter Milan will have a massive impact on the rest of their season and don't let anybody tell you otherwise.

Most of those players have won the Premier League and the FA Cup, so this season was all about the Champions League for them. That defeat will knock them sideways.

And I can't think of a harder place for them to go on Sunday. Blackburn can't buy a win away from home, but they've won the last four games at Ewood Park, scoring eight and conceding one.

If this game was at Stamford Bridge it would be a great game to bounce back in, but this is a hard, hard game for those devastated Chelsea players. I don't think they'll be able to turn the negative into a positive, I really don't.

They may not have made any big signings this season, but they've spent enough money over the last few years to ensure a Champions League quarter-final every year. They should always be in the last eight.

They didn't get the tempo right against Inter. Fulham played a Premier League pace on Thursday night and Juventus couldn't live with it, but Chelsea tried to pass it around too much.

After about 20 minutes Inter's players realised they could score and they grew in confidence. Chelsea have experienced players, but you wouldn't have known it on Tuesday - they left themselves far too open. They looked like a team who had never played Champions League football before.

Put it this way. I can't see Inter Milan winning the Champions League. Barcelona would rip them to shreds and I'd expect Manchester United or Arsenal would beat them over two legs. However, Chelsea wouldn't have scored if they were still playing now.

I don't think Sam Allardyce will fear a wounded animal on Sunday. I think this will knock Chelsea sideways and I see them dropping points here.

After this week's events you've got say a draw would be a decent result for Chelsea.

DRAW - You've got to respect Blackburn's home record. They've won their last four and only Liverpool, Man United and Everton can match that. If Chelsea had beaten Inter Milan I would expect them to win this game, but after everything that's happened I think this will be a difficult game for them. I'll go for a 1-1 draw.

Comments (36)

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Amrit Adhikari (Chelsea fan) says...

Come on chelsea,you can do.Football game is like that sometimes win and sometimes lose,no problem.Chelsea will surely win agnaist blackburn.We are not dissapointed at all and we will win the champions league soon someday for sure .i love you chelsea,i love lampard.Enough of manchester united wins now,and enough of arsenal's fan stupid and biased comments.Barca should win the champions leagyue.

Posted 03:51 21st March 2010

Kris Caldwell (Arsenal fan) says...

As much as id like to see pauls prediction come true i doubt it and why is every one saying chelseas exit was such a shock inter are far to underestimated. I mean they drew with barca in the home tie of the GS and they didnt play well in the game. Is it obvious that im an inter fan as well aha Wenger and Mourinho (The Speacial Ones)

Posted 03:40 21st March 2010

Besim Batusha (Chelsea fan) says...

I have to agree with most of the comments made that man u have a tough game in hand and chelsea might not pick themselves up from that defeat to inter...however the league will definetely be decided when man utd meets chelsea at old trafford. all the best to arsenal ...

Posted 22:55 20th March 2010

Adrian Page (Charlton Athletic fan) says...

With spurs winning today the pressure is on Liverpool tomorrow as they know that anything other than a win at old Trafford and they are almost certainly not going to be in the champions league next year so that puts the pressure firmly on Liverpool and last season they knew that the league was over so they had the opportunity to play freely and won 4-1 without creating a single chance 2 of the goals were punts upfield which 99 times out of 100 Ferdinand and vidic will deal with 1 was shocking control from vidic leading to his rugby tackle on torres his red n a great aurilio free kick and the other was a reckless challange by evra in the box with gerrard goin nowhere. I just don't think Liverpool will have that much luck and lack of pressure and just can't see them getting a result.

Posted 18:40 20th March 2010

Scott Williamson (Blackburn Rovers fan) says...

I'm not entirely sure how we'll do agianst Chelsea, we've beaten on penalties in the cup ion a tremendous game that only saw Chelsea level thanks fo a Paul Robinson howler. Robbo is obviously out now and we've recalled Mark Bunn? The only time I saw Mark Bunn was earlier in the season during the cup match where both Salgado and Kalinic score their first goals for the club. He's terrible so I'm really hoping Big Sam actually knows what he's doing this time. Last week against Spurs, taking Emerton off and putting Andrws on was a foolish move, you're 3-1 down and put on a defensive midfielder in place of an attacking mid? Either way I don't think we'll get the same 5-0 drubbing we got in the last league encounter but I do think we'll get beat. I'm gonna say 3-2 Chelsea

Posted 16:16 20th March 2010

Conor Hannon (Blackburn Rovers fan) says...

i agree with paul and think that chelsea and united will drop points at the weekend.chelsea will no doubt feel the affects from the inter game and goin to ewood wont be easy.remember only spurs and city have left there with 3 points.

Posted 13:57 20th March 2010

John mutame Malamo (Manchester United fan) says...

Come sunday.21st MARCH,10 LOSER POOL will lose to Man u.I dont foresee Man U losing a game at home at this stage of the competetion.They always rise to occassion when things matters a lot.Please Sir Ferguson DONT retire we still need your guidance.John Malamo,Zambia

Posted 12:35 20th March 2010

Thufayel Chowdhury (Chelsea fan) says...

chelsea will thrash blackburn after what happened in the mid week blackburn will have a go on chelsea but chelsea are in a mood that no other team will be on after what happened against inter

Posted 12:22 20th March 2010

Gregor B (Chelsea fan) says...

The issue is a referee. Usually ref is United 12th player. If the ref on Sunday is good, United will drop points. Prediction: at the end of the game United are in trouble and there is 5 or 6 minutes added!

Posted 11:21 20th March 2010

Nick Armstrong (Blackburn Rovers fan) says...

I agree with you paul i can see us getting a point but with the derby with burnley next weekend i think the players will want to go into that game in a confident mood. Dunn knows what the derby means to the fans and he will be in inspirational in the week biulding up to it form. i think we could push and maybe beat chelsea.

Posted 11:13 20th March 2010

Tomusange Abdul (Manchester United fan) says...

liverpool can't stop manchester utd fm winning the trophy utd 2- liverpool -1

Posted 10:00 20th March 2010

Malc Sinnott (Chelsea fan) says...

I have to agree with my fellow Chelsea fan Steve Wright, everything he posted is spot-on, the way things are panning out, we will do well to finish 3rd..Bring back the "Special One" all is forgiven!..

Posted 09:49 20th March 2010

Keyse Xaraga (Arsenal fan) says...

I hope and pray arsenal win the league this year,pairing with barcelona is very scary specialy when we play second leg away.since we haven't spend any big money over the last few years it would be fantastic to win it ,but it won't be easy.

Posted 08:44 20th March 2010

Abdiwali Awil (Arsenal fan) says...

i think that this prediction good 4 gunners because that man and chelsea will play together so i am saying that this the turn of arsenal

Posted 08:28 20th March 2010

Ologunde Kehinde (Manchester United fan) says...

Tomorrow's gonna be another great day for united.i wonder why liverpool victries over pompey and lille are being over hyped,let them repeat those feat and united re enact the blistering form that swept milan away or that humbled fulham.come on united,glory beckons,march out in victry over this old foe.crush it and stamp ur authority and superiority on her.united for life!

Posted 08:21 20th March 2010

Homzie D (Manchester United fan) says...

First of all, Happy Birthday Merse! As a former Arsenal player, I can understand why you're hoping for United and Chelsea to drop points! United will be pumped, Old Trafford will be rocking and the fans know that we cannot afford to drop points at this stage in the season, least of all to our bitter rivals! Having beaten us the last 3 times, the players know that Liverpool cannot be underestimated. They always seem to turn up against United, which is why, it will be a difficult match. The key is Vidic v Torres. I think United will win 3-1. In the other game, Ewood Park is not an easy place to visit. Chelsea will be fired up after their CL exit. They will want to forget their midweek loss by winning at Blackburn. I reckon United 3 Liverpool 1 and Blackburn 1 Chelsea 3.

Posted 08:10 20th March 2010

Mohamed Sulub (Manchester United fan) says...

I disagree with paul, man united is in the best form of the season and they must have learnt from last year's heavy defeat at oldtrafod by liverpool and ofcourse Vidic's last 3 red cards as well rested the whole week while liverpool played on thursday, however, Rooney can take the lead as he s on his way to crown the worlds best player at the end of the season therefore i wish united wins 2-0 and liverpool plays europe league next season. By Sulub

Posted 06:59 20th March 2010

Mohamed Sulub (Manchester United fan) says...

I disagree with paul, man united is in the best form of the season and they must have learnt from last year's heavy defeat at oldtrafod by liverpool and ofcourse Vidic's last 3 red cards as well rested the whole week while liverpool played on thursday, however, Rooney can take the lead as he s on his way to crown the worlds best player at the end of the season therefore i wish united wins 2-0 and liverpool plays europe league next season. By Sulub

Posted 06:58 20th March 2010

Sanketh Menon (Chelsea fan) says...

I have to disagree with Paul regarding the Chelsea match.I know that they are probably still trying to get over the shock of being knocked out of the CL but they thay have to understand that Inter were the better team between the two legs and move on(I really hope they have!).I feel that if they start concentrating on the League again they will definately win.Sure,playing Blackburn at Ewood Park will be tough but this is a pretty good Chelsea side at the moment and even though there are injury problems and they aren't playing their best football by a long-shot(and the fact that the squad is becoming too old and there is an increasing need for fresh young faces in the team),i think Chelsea have it in them to recover from the shock of being knocked out of the CL and beat BLackburn.Although i am sure that if Chelsea do win,it wont be too convincing.

Posted 05:39 20th March 2010

Samuel Mwindula (Manchester United fan) says...

Liverpool have a great chance to stop Man united overtaking their record of 18 tittles but i don't think Sir Alex will let that happen at Old Trafford. I'll go for a 2 - 1 victory for united. Rooney and Torres.

Posted 05:36 20th March 2010

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