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
Smalling, Ferdinand, Jones, Evra
Nani, Anderson, Fletcher, Young
Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole
Mikel, Lampard, Meireles
Mata, Torres, 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 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.