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Manchester United vs CHELSEA: Preview








Venue: Old Trafford

Date: Sunday, 18 September

Kick-off: 1600 BST


This is never a fixture I particularly look forward to if I’m honest. We might have a good record at OT but United’s current record of 18 goals in their first 4 Premier League matches does absolutely nothing to change my usual pessimism.

Whilst United have had the sort of start we had last season (although look a lot more convincing if we’re honest), we got off to a bit of a whimper and AVB could probably have done with this particular fixture coming a bit later in the season.

With United banging in goals for fun and our defence more of a picket fence than a brick wall, already conceding against West Brom, Norwich and Sunderland, we’ll have to hope the God’s (aka FA officials, as far as the Red’s are concerned) are kind to us today.




Irrespective of what’s gone on before this game though, Fergie does his usual spiel as far as we’re concerned, saying “The games with Chelsea over the last seven years have been very close affairs. There’s usually only one goal in it and I think it will be very tight again on Sunday.  They are a team of great experience and all the publicity has been going to Manchester so Chelsea have been in the background and they will have been enjoying that. Chelsea will be there at the end of the season. There’s no doubt about that.”

Not yet used to his counterpart’s mind games though, AVB seems to shrug off the relevance of this game as far as the remainder of the season is concerned, saying “Anything that comes out of this game won’t mean anything. It might play to the motivation to the team who wins, or both if we draw, but let’s wait and see.  It’s for all of us to praise when a team starts the way they have,” said Villas-Boas, whose Stamford Bridge career has begun in a decidedly more low-key fashion.  We have made a good, strong start in the Premier League.  This game comes at a good time for us. Both teams feel very motivated and strong, so hopefully this will be enough for the spectacle to be excellent, which all of us should hope for.  When there is this high expectancy for a game, sometimes things go the other way and it’s boring and tactical.  But that’s not the culture of the Premier League.  It will be a high-intensity game fuelled by emotion.”




For United, Nemanja Vidic (calf), Tom Cleverley (foot) and Rafael (shoulder) remain out and Danny Welbeck (hamstring) is not expected to make it back either.

For Chelsea, Essien (knee) and Drogba (head) are both out. Ramires returns after being suspended for Tuesday’s Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen, and no doubt the rested Terry and Lampard will return.




UNITED (from): De Gea, Lindegaard; Evans, Evra, Fabio, Jones, Smalling, Ferdinand, Anderson, Carrick, Fletcher, Giggs, Nani, Park, Valencia, Young; Berbatov, Hernandez, Owen, Rooney.

CHELSEA (from): Cech, Ivanovic, Bosingwa, Ferreira, Terry, Luiz, Alex, Cole, Mikel, Romeu, McEachran, Ramires, Lampard, Meireles, Mata, Malouda, Torres, Anelka, Sturridge, Kalou, Lukaku, Hilario, Turnbull.




United 2-1 Chelsea (8th May 2011)




In 38 Premier League meetings, we’ve had the upper hand with 13 wins to United’s 11 but let’s not forget they ended a run of three successive league defeats to us when they beat us 2-1 at OT in May. Then there’s our one clean sheet in our last 16 league trips up there, not to mention our more recent form giving us just one clean sheet in our last eight league games.  Considering they’ve scored in their last 32 consecutive games at home in the league, winning 30 and losing just one of those (against us in April 2010) and they’ve already bagged 18 goals in their first 4 games this season, and you’d have to say it’s not looking favourable for us today is it?



Blue is the colour is an honest insight to the World of Chelsea FC. Not always pretty, sometimes rather cynical, but always realistic.


September 2011
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