David Moyes’ Manchester United face Jose Mourinhos Chelsea,on Monday night,in the premier leagues first big showdown. The build up to this fixture has already had its share of sound bites with Mourinho voicing his opinion that the Manchester United squad was not terrific in their previous title-winning season. This match is way too early to be termed decisive in the title race,though a win for either side will be a definite shout out to others who harbour title aspirations. In particular,to the blue half of Manchester,who was stunned last night 3-2 by premier league virgins,Cardiff City.
Mourinho will be eager to repeat the success he has enjoyed not only at Old Trafford but also against Moyes,who he has beaten on four occasions and drawn against twice. In polls conduct last season,by United fans,Mourinho was voted as the most preferred choice to replace Sir Alex. Moyes will want to ensure the faithful that United will be a force under his tutelage. He is fully aware that his side has not been earmarked as favourites and insists he is unfazed,In a way it suits me not being classed as favourites. It suits my sort of nature,fighting back and quietly getting on with the job. Also Read: Rooney saga hangs over Chelsea-United clash
Both teams enter into the game on the back of solid opening week outings. Chelsea were brilliant against Hull City but were made to sweat against Aston Villa. United meanwhile cruised to a 4-1 victory over Swansea City with Robin Van Persie and Danny Welbeck securing a brace each. Both sides are expected to line up as follows Manchester United: De Gea,Jones,Ferdinand,Vidic,Evra,Carrick,Giggs,Valencia,Welbeck,Cleverly (possibly Kagawa),Van Persie and for Chelsea: Cech,Ivanovic,Terry (Luiz on the bench),Cahill,Cole,Ramires,Lampard,De Bruyne,Oscar,Hazard,Torres. But the player,who has dominated the media headlines in the run in to the game,may only find a place on the bench Wayne Rooney came on as a substitute against Swansea and is likely to reprise the same role against Chelsea. Also Read: I want more ambition from Hazard,says Mourinho
The players to look out for include Danny Welbeck,who was excellent against Swansea and unlike last season,looked comfortable in front of goal. Besides his brilliant work ethic and ball recovery skills (8 in attack and 3 in defence against Swansea) his ability to press high up the field could render problems for Chelseas midfield duo. Kevin De Bruyne,rested for Chelseas mid-week game,is a player whose forward burst of pace and directness could pose a challenge for the United back four. De Bruyne is a player who besides providing incisive through balls loves to strike the ball from range as is evident in the 10 goals he scored in the Bundesliga last season.
The last game between these sides was a cagey affair in which Chelseas Juan Mata stole the points with a winner late on. This time around one should expect the sides to show more attacking intent. I expect the game to end all even at two goals apiece.