The one player that can unlock Manchester United for Chelsea – and it’s not Eden Hazard

While Antonio Conte has an excellent record against Manchester United at home, last season’s Chelsea defeat must not be repeated this season.

At Old Trafford during the title-winning campaign of 2016/17, Ander Herrera completely shut down Eden Hazard, and with it Chelsea creativity as none of the Blues players were able to attack or get anything going in the final third.

On the day it was Jose Mourinho that out thought and got his tactics spot on against his Italian counterpart.

However, Conte goes into this game off the back of an excellent display against Barcelona and one man in particular who should be starting from the very beginning.

Willian ran the show on Tuesday night as he caused Barcelona a plethora of problems, hitting the post twice and then scoring to give Chelsea the lead.

What was exciting about his displayed was it was back to the old Willian, a player that during Mourinho’s final season as boss was the only player to come out with any sort of credit.

When the Brazilian is in that mood he really is stunning player that causes the defences problems and also causes his manager a lot of selection headaches.

Conte may well have gone into the Manchester United game with the idea of playing 3-5-2, but what the performance of Willian on Tuesday night showed was just how good he can be and how important he is for Hazard.

The Belgian admitted on Tuesday night but he prefers to play on the left where he can cause more danger instead of playing in the false nine position as he did against the Catalan giants. And it also seems that the pair love playing together when given the chance as their recent goal scoring record seems to confirm.

When the pair have started together, Hazard scored twice against Brighton, while Willian and also scored in the same game and then went to net against Barcelona.

It is clear to see that 3-4-3 is a formation that suits both players and the opportunity to play off a front man means that the Brazilian and Belgian are at their destructive best, picking up the ball from deep and running at defenders.

Chelsea sit three points behind Manchester United in the Premier league table and cannot afford to drop points if they want to clinch that second place.

One man who has been an such an important player of the season as well is Marcos Alonso. When Conte plays his 3-5-2, Alonso is nowhere near as effective as he does not have Hazard on the left to cause problems that the Spaniard can exploit with overlapping.

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