Chelsea v Man Utd preview

by admin on Вторник, Март 1st, 2011

Chelsea will be hoping to breathe new life into their top-four challenge when they entertain table-topping Manchester United on Tuesday.

The Blues are the reigning Premier League champions, but have seen that particular crown slip considerably over recent months.

An explosive start to the campaign is now a distant memory, with 15 points separating them from the top flight summit, although they do have one game in hand.

Bridging such a sizeable gap will be a tough ask, but the Blues do have crunch clashes against those around them still to come.

The first of those comes in midweek, when Carlo Ancelotti’s side will be looking to build on an impressive record against the Red Devils on home soil.

Chelsea have won five and lost none of their last eight meetings with United at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.

In £50million frontman Fernando Torres they also boast a formidable attacking weapon, with the Spaniard, who is yet to break his duck for his new employers, having found the target in his last four league meetings with United.

The Blues have been inconsistent in front of their own supporters of late, though, with two wins, two draws and two defeats taken from their last six fixtures.

United will head to the capital hoping to end Chelsea’s fading title dreams, while putting another serious dent in their efforts to secure UEFA Champions League qualification.

They have, however, failed to score in five of their last seven visits to Stamford Bridge, notching only once in each of the other two encounters.

Tuesday’s clash promises to be another keenly-fought contest, with United pitching the Premier League’s most potent attack against the division’s most resilient defence.
Team news

Ancelotti has vowed to hand Ashley Cole a starting berth in the wake of revelations that he accidentally shot a work experience student with an air rifle at the club’s training ground.

The Italian coach has handled the issue in-house and is confident his England international full-back is ready for action.

The main poser facing the Blues boss is whether to return Didier Drogba to his starting XI or stick with Torres and Nicolas Anelka.

He will be without the creative talents of Yossi Benayoun, as the Israeli continues to nurse an Achilles injury.

Sir Alex Ferguson will again be without Rio Ferdinand when United arrive in west London.

The centre-half is sidelined with a calf problem, along with fellow defender Jonny Evans (ankle).

Anderson (knee), Park Ji-sung (hamstring), Owen Hargreaves (knee) and Antonio Valencia (ankle) will all be missing from midfield.

Wayne Rooney is available after escaping Football Association action over his clash with Wigan’s James McCarthy on Saturday.

Possible starting XIs

Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Essien, Lampard, Malouda, Anelka, Torres.

Man Utd: Van der Sar, Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Nani, Fletcher, Scholes, Carrick, Rooney, Berbatov.

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