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Premier League

  • 8 May 2011
  • • 16:10
  • • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 75445
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Manchester United - Chelsea Preview: Carlo Ancelotti's men looking for fourth consecutive Premier League victory over their title rivals

Manchester United - Chelsea Preview: Carlo Ancelotti's men looking for fourth consecutive Premier League victory over their title rivals

mahmoud maher

Blues are looking to extend a winning streak in Premier League meetings with the Red Devils, and will go ahead in the title race if they defeat their Champions League conquerors


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PROBABLE LINE-UPS

Manchester United (4-4-2)
Van der Sar; Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Carrick, Giggs, Park; Rooney, Hernandez
.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson recently admitted that Wayne Rooney and Patrice Evra should be able to feature in the blockbuster clash against Chelsea.

The Scot is also expected to make changes to the line-up that he fielded against Schalke, with Michael Carrick, Rio Ferdinand , Ryan Giggs, Javier Hernandez , Park Ji-Sung, Wayne Rooney and Nemanja Vidic all likely to return to the starting XI.

Sir Alex has also confirmed that Darren Fletcher will not start on Sunday, despite having made a cameo appearance against Schalke.

Chelsea (4-3-3)
Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Essien, Mikel, Lampard; Malouda, Drogba, Kalou.

Carlo Ancelotti has an almost full squad to choose from, with only Jose Bosingwa being out through injury. Yury Zhirkov is expected to undergo a late fitness test to determine whether he can play any part in the clash at Old Trafford.

There have also been reports that Fernando Torres could be dropped from the starting line-up for this clash, as the Spain international has scored only once since his January move to Chelsea.

DID YOU KNOW?
  • Manchester United have not lost a single Premier League game at Old Trafford this season. Their record reads 16 wins, one draw, and no losses.
  • The Red Devils have also scored 43 goals at home this season, which is the most by any team in their own backyard.
  • United have picked up 10 out of a possible 15 points from their last five league games. Their dropped points came in the form of a goalless draw against Newcastle United at St James’ Park, and a defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
  • Sir Alex’s charges are also on course to equal Chelsea’s record of accumulating a mammoth 55 points at home. The Blues won 18 and drew one of their 19 games at Stamford Bridge during the 2005-06 season.
  • No team has scored a first-half goal in the league against United at Old Trafford this season.
  • Chelsea are undefeated in their last 10 Premier League games, with eight wins against their name. But during this period, they did lose twice to the Red Devils in the Champions League.
  • But the Blues have done well away from home in the domestic circuit, as they have scored 29 goals on their travels. Only Arsenal (36) have scored more.
  • But to Carlo Ancelotti’s credit, his players are also the most defensively adept unit when playing away from home, as they have shipped in only 17 goals so far. This is the least number of goals conceded by any team in the top-flight on their travels.
  • Despite having lost two Champions League matches to the OId Trafford outfit, the Blues have the upper hand in league games. They have won the last three league meetings between the two sides. But it has to also be noted that Chelsea have managed to keep only one clean sheet in their last 15 visits to Old Trafford.
  • Florent Malouda (pictured above) is Chelsea’s top scorer in the Premier League with 13 goals to his name.

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Players to watch

W. Rooney

Position: Attacker

Games: 13

  • 6
  • 3
  • 1
Wayne Rooney has hit form at the right time for United, and has been putting in strong displays in recent weeks.

He missed the clash against Schalke due to injury, but has regained fitness in time to make this game.

The England international will want to stamp his authority in one of the biggest games of the season, and vanquish the demons that haunted him during the first half of the campaign.

P. Čech

Position: Goalkeeper

Games: 2

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Petr Cech may have some work to do in this encounter, as the Blues have not kept a clean sheet in their last 15 trips to Old Trafford.

His performance between the posts could make all the difference, as the west London side have had no real trouble scoring goals away from home.

The performance put in by the Czech Republic international could make be decisive if the Blues are to retain their hopes of winning the title.

Editor's Prediction

United and Chelsea are well matched in terms of quality coupled with form, and this should make for a very interesting encounter.

The Red Devils have a chance of parking the bus and carving out a draw that would give them a massive advantage in terms of winning the title, but it appears unlikely that such a system will be adopted by manager Sir Alex Ferguson - particularly as it is a home game.

Ryan Giggs also recently admitted that the gameplan is likely to be an attacking one to kill any real hope that the Blues might have of winning the title. But the likes of Didier Drogba and Malouda pose a significant threat themselves, and could threaten the hosts’ back line.

An entertaining game appears to be in the offing. And considering the home form shown by United pitted against the recent run that Chelsea have been on, a draw would appear to be likely.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Manchester United

Chelsea

Wins
0
2
3
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Manchester United FC MNU
Manchester United FC Manchester United
Draw
Chelsea FC CHE
Chelsea FC Chelsea
46%
50%

Top 3 Predictions

Manchester United FC MNU
1 - 2
Chelsea FC CHE
Manchester United FC MNU
2 - 1
Chelsea FC CHE
Manchester United FC MNU
2 - 0
Chelsea FC CHE

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