Who : Chelsea vs Manchester United
What : English Premier League, Week 9
Where : Stamford Bridge, London, England, UK
When : Sunday, October 28, 2012
Time : 16:00 p.m. GMT
Referee : Mark Clattenburg
EPL’s most dangerous midfield trio face off against EPL’s most dangerous strike force. Two teams who can just not keep a clean sheet but score for fun meet on Sunday for the biggest game of the Premier League so far this season. League leaders Chelsea host Manchester United on Sunday and this game will have a certain say in the long run in deciding the title. A Chelsea win will see them take a huge step forward and the other teams will have to do catch up for a long time while a United win will put them right back on track and cut down Chelsea’s early lead.
Cech Factor : Chelsea might head into this game as league leaders but they are coming off a 2-1 loss in the midweek against Shakthar Donetsk. Only an inspired performance by Chelsea #1 Petr Cech helped them avoid an embarrassed scoreline. They will hope for a similar performance by their keeper.
Defence : But Chelsea’s biggest problem heading into this game is that they will be playing without their captain John Terry. The suspension of Terry did not affect them in the game with Tottenham, but it has yet to be seen how they can handle the offensive attack of Manchester United without one of the premiere defenders in the world. But all the other 4 are scoring goals. Ivanovich,Cole,Cahill and Luiz : the likely starters at the back for the Blues each have scored already this season.
Frank Lampard limped off in the midweek game and it looks likely he will not be starting.
Torres: Just when you think that Torres is coming back to his original best, he brings out that lack luster performance against Shakhtar. Though he cannot be blamed solely in that game, one suspects his confidence must be low that too just before the big game. The worst would be repeating another open goal miss like the last time around.
Dangerous trio : Torres has started each and every game for Chelsea so far this season and he looks a little tired. The Oscar-Hazard-Mata combo has worked very well for Chelsea and with Torres not to be heavily trusted combined with the absence of Lampard and Terry, an extra bit of pressure will fall on these 3 to perform.
Manchester United :
Best strike force so far : Though Chelsea boast of having the likes of Hazard(maximum assists in EPL), Torres(4 goals so far) and arguably the hottest prospect of the league-Juan Mata( 3 goals,5 assists), Manchester United have the edge in this department. They are the highest scorers of the league with 21 goals.
But whom to start? : Many questioned the partnership of RVP and Rooney before the start of the season. But they have combined perfectly well and have 8 goals between them. It was Welbeck who was tagged along both of them and they were called the dangerous trio of United until this Tuesday. But Javier Hernandez, who was given a rare start silenced all his critics as he had a brace against Braga. This has put Sir Alex in a very tough spot.
“He’s got me thinking, I must say that. He’s got me thinking about him and Van Persie, Rooney and Welbeck.
“I don’t know what to do with them, to be honest with you.”
– Ferguson about Hernandez after the UCL match.
Midfield : Cleverly is likely to be picked over Scholes and partner Carrick in the middle. With Kagawa injured, Nani is set to start.
Defence : The defence is still missing the big names like Vidic, Jones and Smalling but Ferdinand and Evans have done pretty well so far and will have to be rigid at the back.
What to expect :
If you are a neutral, this game will be a treat to watch. One can expect free flowing game and there will be goals. Both the clubs would love the other team pushing forward as both the teams are very dangerous in counter attacking.
If you are planning to bet then a safe prediction would be a 2-2 draw with Rooney,RVP, Hazard and Mata on the scoreline. If you are not planning to bet, then this is the sort of the game where you’d want to sit back and enjoy the match.