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Premier League

  • September 18, 2011
  • • 16:00
  • • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Referee: P. Dowd
  • • Attendance: 75455
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Premier League Preview: Manchester United v Chelsea

The Red Devils will hope to continue their blistering form thus far but Andre Villas-Boas' revolution with the Londoners continues at pace with a refreshed looking Fernando Torres


PROBABLE LINEUPS

MANCHESTER UNITED

De Gea
Smalling, Ferdinand, Jones, Evra
Nani, Anderson, Fletcher, Young
Rooney, Hernandez
.
CHELSEA

 Cech
Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole
Mikel, Lampard, Meireles
Mata, Torres, Malouda.
 
PROBABLE LINE UPS
Manchester United(4-4-2): David De Gea; Chris Smalling, Rio Ferdinand, Phil Jones, Patrice Evra; Nani, Anderson, Darren Fletcher, Ashley Young; Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Petr Cech; Jose Bosingwa, Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Ashley Cole; John Obi Mikel, Frank Lampard, Raul Meireles; Juan Mata, Fernando Torres, Florent Malouda. 
The hosts took the opportunity to make several changes for their first Champions League tie of the season against Benfica but should field a strong line up on Sunday.
Rio Ferdinand returns from a rest and Darren Fletcher, who played 60 minutes in Portugal as part of his return, may go into the starting XI due to the absence of Tom Cleverley through injury.
Phil Jones continues in the absence of Nemanja Vidic and Chris Smalling may be asked to fill in at right back again for the injured Rafael.
Chelsea maintained a strong line-up for their hard-fought 2-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen and will be buoyed by the improving form of Fernando Torres due to the continued absence of Didier Drogba.
The Spaniard grabbed two assists at Stamford Bridge midweek and will hope to continue his growing partnership with the impressive Juan Mata.
Both John Terry and Frank Lampard return after being withheld from starting the Blues’ European tie, with coach Andre Villas-Boas keeping one eye on this encounter.
DID YOU KNOW?
The two previous meetings between these sides at Old Trafford have essentially been Premier League title deciders, with Chelsea winning one and United the other.
These two sides have met 19 times in the Premier League at Old Trafford, drawing 7 times.
Manchester United have won 7 of those encounters and Chelsea a respectable 5.
Andre Villas-Boas has 95 games as a manager under his belt, a whopping 22 times less than the 2,053 of his opposition Sir Alex Ferguson.
Manchester United have scored 18 goals in 4 games in the league so far this season an average of 4.5 goals per game.
Chelsea’s ‘goals for’ statistic looks meagre in comparison, yet they have matched the league-leaders defensively conceding just 3 goals.
Andre Villas-Boas’ grandmother settled in Portugal after moving from the Manchester borough of Cheadle Hulme.
Sir Alex Ferguson received the Premier League manager of the month award for his side’s start to this season, the 26th time he has collected the honour.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Fernando Torres
Chelsea will hope the Spaniard’s two assists midweek have filled him with the confidence to go out and break his terrible scoring record for Chelsea since his £50 million move.
While he was still wasteful in front of goal against Leverkusen, Torres has a history of scoring against the Old Trafford outfit and will hope to rekindle that here.
Wayne Rooney
The man from Croxteth cut a frustrated figure during the game against Benfica but given the potential return to the line up of creative outlets Nani and Ashley Young against Chelsea he should be back to his best form.
He currently sits atop the Premier League top scorers list having notched 8 times in just 4 league games and will certainly give the Chelsea back four a lot to think about.
PREDICTION
Manchester United have started the season in fine form as they lead the league with a goal difference of +15 but they face a sterner test against Chelsea.
Andre Villas-Boas is also facing his toughest examination so far as Chelsea manager and will come up against few operators as wily as the experienced Ferguson during his managerial career.
Given United’s current form most would say that any side visiting Old Trafford should get blown away but Chelsea have shown they are not scared to battle the champions on their own turf before.
The Villas-Boas factor adds an air of unpredictability to the encounter and might just mean Chelsea can pinch what would be a great point.
1-1

The hosts took the opportunity to make several changes for their first Champions League tie of the season against Benfica but should field a strong line up on Sunday.

Rio Ferdinand returns from a rest and Darren Fletcher, who played 60 minutes in Portugal as part of his return, may go into the starting XI due to the absence of Tom Cleverley through injury.

Phil Jones continues in the absence of Nemanja Vidic and Chris Smalling may be asked to fill in at right back again for the injured Rafael.

Chelsea maintained a strong line-up for their hard-fought 2-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen and will be buoyed by the improving form of Fernando Torres in the continued absence of Didier Drogba.

The Spaniard grabbed two assists at Stamford Bridge in midweek and will hope to continue his growing partnership with the impressive Juan Mata.

Both John Terry and Frank Lampard return after being withheld from starting the Blues’ European tie, with coach Andre Villas-Boas keeping one eye on this encounter.


DID YOU KNOW?

  • The two previous meetings between these sides at Old Trafford have essentially been Premier League title deciders, with Chelsea winning one and United the other.
  • These two sides have met 19 times in the Premier League at Old Trafford, drawing seven times. Manchester United have won seven of those encounters and Chelsea a respectable five.
  • Andre Villas-Boas (pictured right) has 95 games as a manager under his belt, a whopping 22 times fewer than the 2,053 of his counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson.
  • Manchester United have scored 18 goals in four games in the league so far this season, an average of 4.5 goals per game.
  • Chelsea’s ‘goals for’ statistic looks meagre in comparison, yet they have matched the league-leaders defensively, conceding just three goals.
  • Andre Villas-Boas’ grandmother settled in Portugal after moving from the Manchester borough of Cheadle Hulme.
  • Sir Alex Ferguson received the Premier League manager of the month award for his side’s start to this season, the 26th time he has collected the honour.

Players to watch

W. Rooney

Position: Attacker

Games: 13

  • 6
  • 3
  • 1
The man from Croxteth cut a frustrated figure during the game against Benfica but given the potential return to the line-up of creative outlets Nani and Ashley Young against Chelsea he should be back to his best form.

He currently sits atop the Premier League top scorers list having notched eight times in just four league games and will certainly give the Chelsea back four a lot to think about.

Fernando Torres

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Chelsea will hope the Spaniard’s two assists midweek have filled him with the confidence to go out and break his terrible scoring record for Chelsea since his £50 million move.

While he was still wasteful in front of goal against Leverkusen, Torres has a history of scoring against the Old Trafford outfit and will hope to rekindle that here.

Editor's Prediction

Manchester United have started the season in fine form as they lead the league with a goal difference of 15 but they face a sterner test against Chelsea.

Andre Villas-Boas is also facing his toughest examination so far as Chelsea manager and will come up against few operators as wily as the experienced Sir Alex during his managerial career.

Given United’s current form most would say that any side visiting Old Trafford should get blown away but Chelsea have shown they are not scared to battle the champions on their own turf before.

The Villas-Boas factor adds an air of unpredictability to the encounter and might just mean Chelsea can pinch what would be a great point.

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
53%
42%

Top 3 Predictions

Manchester United FC MNU
1 - 2
Chelsea FC CHE
Manchester United FC MNU
3 - 1
Chelsea FC CHE
Manchester United FC MNU
2 - 1
Chelsea FC CHE

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