Chelsea starting XI: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires, Luiz, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Eto’o
Subs: Schwarzer, Cole, Lampard, Mikel, Matic, Mata, Torres
Manchester United starting XI: De Gea, Rafael, Evans, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Jones, Young, Januzaj, Welbeck
Subs: Lindegaard, Giggs, Smalling, Hernandez, Fletcher, Kagawa, Cleverley
Manchester United may look at Chelsea’s new midfield signing Nemanja Matic and wonder what they need to do to get a break. While the Blues have added yet another quality midfielder to a team full of them, David Moyes’ men are woefully short in that area. However, that is something from another day.
For now United will hope they can win at Stamford Bridge with the men they do have at their disposal; something made that much harder by Jose Mourinho’s terrific record at the home of the Blues. That the Portuguese is also looking for his 100th Premier League victory adds extra spice to a match United dare not lose.
If they do so, they are almost certainly out of a title race many wrote-off weeks ago. But a win would give them considerable confidence going into the second half of the season.
Today’s hosts have conceded just two goals in their last six home league matches. And with no Wayne Rooney or Robin van Persie in the visitor’s line-up, they will be hoping to add another clean-sheet to that record.
Juan Mata – a perennial substitute these days – has scored on each of his last three league appearances for the Blues. How United could do with a man deemed if not unnecessary than certainly not vital to Mourinho’s current squad.
What do you think the result will be this afternoon?
image: © geetarchurchy