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UEFA Champions League

  • April 6, 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Stamford Bridge, London
  • Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
  • • Attendance: 37915
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Champions League preview: Chelsea - Manchester United

Champions League preview: Chelsea - Manchester United

Carlo Ancelotti's side have not lost in their last nine league meetings against the Red Devils at home, winning 2-1 in the last game between the two sides in March


PROBABLE LINE-UPS
Chelsea: Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Essien, Lampard, Malouda; Anelka, Torres.

Manchester United: Van der Sar; Fabio, Smalling, Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Nani; Rooney; Hernandez.


DID YOU KNOW?

  • Chelsea and Manchester United have stamped their authority on the Premier League in recent years, with either one of them having won the title in each of the last six seasons. Both clubs have won it three times in that period.
  • The two sides also met in the final of the Champions League in 2008, where the Red Devils prevailed after a penalty shootout - after a 1-1 draw - at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
  • The Blues have lost only once to the Old Trafford outfit since Carlo Ancelotti took charge of the west London club in 2009. That defeat came in the 2010 Community Shield, with United winning 3-1.
  • Chelsea have a fine record against these opponents on the domestic circuit in their own backyard in recent times, as they are undefeated in their last nine Premier League games against Sir Alex’s charges. Six of them have been victories.
  • Nicolas Anelka has scored seven goals in the Champions League so far, with Lionel Messi, Mario Gomez and Samuel Eto’o sharing the top spot after scoring eight each.
  • Manchester United have had the best defence in Europe this season, as they have conceded only two goals during the course of the tournament. They have, however, scored only nine goals during this time.
  • Both Ferguson and Ancelotti have won the Champions League twice as managers, but the Italian has also had two triumphs as a player whereas the 69-year-old has not.
  • United are currently at the top of the fair play table, having been shown only four yellow cards throughout the tournament. Ancelotti’s men are in joint second with Barcelona, with their players having received eight yellows to date.
  • The Red Devils have been to the quarter-final stage on 16 occasions, winning 11 and losing five. Their most recent double-header in the quarters was against Bayern Munich last season, and the German club went through to the last four on the away goals rule.
  • Manchester United may not have had much success at Stamford Bridge in recent seasons, but they have a better record than Chelsea in the opposition’s ground. United have won 29 league games while the Blues have 22 victories to their name. Eighteen matches have ended in a draw.

LAST MEETING

March 1, 2011: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester United

The Blues came back from a goal down to seal a victory against the Premier League leaders. Wayne Rooney had given his side the lead in the first half, but a goal from David Luiz and a Frank Lampard penalty saw the home side winning the game.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Petr CechGoalkeeper
3Ashley ColeDefender
26John TerryDefender
2Branislav IvanovicDefender
3José BosingwaDefender
18Yuri ZhirkovMidfielder
8Frank LampardMidfielder
-Michael EssienMidfielder
7RamiresMidfielder
9Fernando TorresStriker
11Didier DrogbaStriker
21Ross TurnbullGoalkeeper
20Paulo FerreiraDefender
15Florent MaloudaMidfielder
12John Obi MikelMidfielder
30Yossi BenayounMidfielder
8Salomon KalouStriker
21Nicolas AnelkaStriker
1Edwin van der Sar Goalkeeper
3Patrice EvraDefender
15Nemanja VidicDefender
5Rio FerdinandDefender
21Rafael SilvaMidfielder
13Ji-Sung ParkMidfielder
11Ryan GiggsManager/Coach
16Michael CarrickMidfielder
25Antonio ValenciaMidfielder
14Javier 'Chicharito' HernandezStriker
10Wayne RooneyStriker
29Tomasz KuszczakGoalkeeper
12Chris SmallingDefender
6Jonny EvansDefender
4Darron Gibson Midfielder
17NaniMidfielder
22Paul ScholesMidfielder
9Dimitar BerbatovStriker
Players to Watch
Nicolas Anelka
Nicolas Anelka
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 21
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Nicolas Anelka is the top scorer for the Blues in the Champions League with seven goals to his name, and he should be looking to add to his exploits in the all-English tie.
Edwin van der Sar
Edwin van der Sar
Position: Goalkeeper
Squad Number: 1
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Edwin van der Sar should require no motivation for a tie of this magnitude, as he is in his final season as a professional footballer. The Dutchman would obviously want to end his career on a high note by winning the biggest club competition in Europe, so he should put in a strong performance.
Prediction
Manchester United have not had the best of times in Stamford Bridge of late, but Chelsea have been stuttering in their league campaign despite having bettered these opponents earlier in the season.

The game should present itself as a hard fought tactical battle with both teams looking to keep a clean sheet in the first leg. But the Blues could nick this one with a narrow win.

Editor's Prediction

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