Manchester United hosts Chelsea at Old Trafford on Monday night as both teams attempt to seize an early advantage in the Premier League title race.
Manchester United hosts Chelsea at Old Trafford on Monday night as both teams attempt to seize an early advantage in the Premier League title race. The match will see David Moyes’ debut at the Theatre of Dreams as a Manchester United manager. Ironically, Moyes’ counterpart, Jose Mourinho had also begun his managerial stint with Chelsea nine years ago against Manchester United at home, Stamford Bridge. Mourinho’s Chelsea had won that tie 1-0 and then went on to win the Premiership title that year as well.
David Moyes would be hoping that he is on the winning end this time. Though it’s too early in the season right now, a win for either team will help to gain an advantage over the other. Both the teams have begun on a winning note; United kicked off their campaign with a clinical win over Swansea while Chelsea won both their games against Hull City and Aston Villa. Manchester United has had a dry transfer window so far and fans would like to see how the red devils fare against a strong opposition like Chelsea. Chelsea played mid week against Aston Villa and only have four days to focus on United. That may have short bearing on the match.
The match is also in the news due to the transfer saga over Wayne Rooney. Manchester United has already rejected two bids from Chelsea but Jose Mourinho has said that they will make a third bid only after the Monday night encounter. David Moyes has reiterated on more than one occasion that the mercurial striker will not be sold to anyone under any circumstances but that may not stop Chelsea from making another bid. It would be interesting to see if David Moyes includes Wayne Rooney in the starting lineup. In a press conference held recently, Moyes did state that Rooney has a ‘good chance’ to start against Chelsea. It may be a big risk that Moyes will take if he includes the striker in a match against a team who wants to buy the player.
In their last match, Rooney was on the bench only to be brought on in the 67th minute and play a crucial role in both the second half goals. So it can be safely said that leaving Rooney on the bench will greatly affect United’s chances to beat Chelsea. This is dilemma that Moyes would not have wanted in his first home game as a United manager. If Rooney does play, it would also be interesting to see how the crowd reacts.
The Blues, on the other hand, seem to have all the pieces to the puzzle in place and are rearing to go. With back to back wins, Jose Mourinho has made the start that was expected of him. Mourinho has clearly stated in one of the press conferences that he is at Chelsea to win trophies and he would leave if he doesn’t win any. In team news, the only question would be whether Juan Mata would start for the blues. There have been rumors that Mata may be traded to United in exchange for Rooney. This is very unlikely to happen as Mata was one of the star players in the Chelsea squad last season. However, Mata has lacked match fitness and may be brought on as a substitute. David Luiz is another player who would be looking to make a comeback to the squad after a hamstring injury.
Manchester United has not beaten Chelsea in their last four matches. The last time United beat Chelsea was last season at Stamford Bridge.
Manchester United has lost more Premier League matches against Chelsea than any other side.
Last season, Chelsea 1-0 at Old Trafford and Manchester United won 3-2 at Stamford Bridge.
Probable Line Up
Manchester United: De Gea, Evra, Ferdinand, Vidic, Jones, Giggs, Carrick, Welbeck, Cleverley, Valencia & Van Persie
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cole, Cahill, Terry, Ramires, Lampard, Oscar, Hazard, Schurrle & Torres.
Mourinho would be hoping to make it 3 in 3 for Chelsea, while David Moyes would be hoping to win his first match at Old Trafford. Chelsea would be looking to take advantage of the Wayne Rooney saga while the in-form Dutchman Robin Van Persie will surely have a big impact on the game. All in all, it’s going to be a very interesting match but a draw seems to be the most likely result. I predict it to be a 2-2 draw.