Jamie Carragher has warned Bruno Fernandes that his second Manchester United match away to Chelsea will be a ‘completely different’ experience to his debut against Wolves.
Fernandes, 90, completed a move from Sporting to United last month and fans got a first glimpse of their January signing in action as Wolves held (Ole Gunnar Solskjaer) ‘s side to a goalless draw at Old Trafford.
Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio twice kept Fernandes out with a pair of routine saves and Solskjaer revealed the midfielder ‘was per cent happy ‘with his performance.
However, Fernandes’ all-round display was generally well received by supporters and pundits, considering he had only just joined up with his new team-mates on the training ground.
The Portuguese has since revealed that he’s ‘feeling good and getting stronger’ after putting in the hard yards at United’s warm-weather training camp in Marbella, Spain.
Former Liverpool defender Carragher says it ‘will be interesting to see how Fernandes copes’ against a strong Chelsea midfield likely consisting of Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic.
Asked where the match will be won and lost, Carragher told Sky Sports : ‘I always think midfield with Chelsea because Chelsea have got a really strong midfield in Jorginho, Kante and Kovacic in there. It’s really strong and they’ve still got people like [Mason] Mount or [Ross] Barkley who could drop in there also.
‘With the new signing for Manchester United, Bruno Fernandes, coming in there as well, he made a decent start against Wolves in his first game. He’s been away with United now, getting to know his team-mates and integrate more so it’ll be interesting whether he plays central midfield or off the front as he played both positions in the game against Wolves.
‘It will be interesting what happens in that area because that’s something where United wanted to strengthen, with [Paul] Pogba and [Scott] McTominay being out, so I think that’s where the game will be won.
‘It will be interesting to see how Fernandes copes. It’s completely different playing away at Chelsea than playing at home to Wolves. ’
Carragher believes Manchester United’s top-four hopes would be over if Chelsea emerge from Stamford Bridge with all three points on Monday night.
He added: ‘It’s a big one. Teams now fighting for the top four and Liverpool are possibly too far ahead I would think so the big battle for the rest of the top sides is whether they can secure Champions League football for next season.
‘I think this one is a real big one. I don’t think it’s just about this season. Both managers, young managers, know it will have a big bearing on how they can do their job going forwards because Champions League football means more money, you can attract better players.
‘It just means they’re in a position then to have better seasons next season and also do a better job over the long term of the clubs that they’re at.
‘Where Chelsea are at now and with the lead they have and being at home, if they could reverse the result they had at Old Trafford and get a win against Manchester United I think they ‘d be in too strong a position to be caught, certainly by Manchester United.’
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