Here we go again. Chelsea will face Manchester United on Wednesday just 3 days after their highly controversial Premier League clash last Sunday. Although United emerged 3-2 winners, a host of decisions went in their favor yet again(which also included an offside winner by Chicharito) as 9-man Chelsea fell to their first defeat this Premier League season.
However, this fixture is likely to be a calmer affair and most of the players who participated during the weekend are likely to be rested. Nonetheless, this is the clear headline match-up in Round 4 of this cup competition and it’s very possible that both sides will have exciting and talented youngsters on display.
Branislav Ivanovich and Fernando Torres, after receiving red cards in the last game, will join John Terry in the suspended players list for the Blues. Frank Lampard is also not likely to play after pulling his calf muscle against Shakhtar Donetsk last Tuesday.
Ross Turnbull will start if Cech is given a rest.
Gary Cahill and David Luiz are the likely center-back pair as Chelsea do not have another reserve center back at the moment. Ryan Bertrand and Cesar Azpilicuetta are set to make starts for the game as full backs but club veteran Paulo Ferreira(yes, he’s still at the club) could be given a rare final start.
Romeu is likely to be the first choice mid fielder to fill the pivot role of RDM’s famous 4-2-3-1 while either Ramires or Mikel will partner him there.
This is where it gets interesting. At least one of the dangerous trio of Oscar-Hazard-Mata will start the game as the other positions could be occupied by Victor Moses and Marko Marin. Piazon has an outside chance too.
Sturridge will finally start a game as the lone striker after the suspension of Torres.
Azpillicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Bertrand
Moses, Mata, Marin
Sir Alex Ferguson may stick with the back line which featured against Newcastle in the last round of the Capital One Cup, with Scott Wootton, Michael Keane, Alexander Buttner and Marnick Vermiji set to feature.
Anderson is in need of a game and he likely features in central-midfield while the likes of Darren Fletcher, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nick Powell and Jesse Lingaard are in contention as well. Nani is set to start on one flank while either Giggs or young Robbie Brady could fill the other.
Up front, Welbeck and Chicharito are set to replace Van Persie and Rooney.
Vermijl, M Keane, Wooton, Buttner
Nani, Scholes, Anderson, Fletcher
United would certainly rub it in Chelsea’s face if they win and make it 2 out of 2 in 4 days, however the Blues will feel it is time for revenge and more importantly pray for a fair game.
Since United are more likely to start a slightly weaker team than Chelsea, the Blues look marginal favorites to win it. As a neutral, one would hope that this game would go well without any official deciding the fate of the game and let the teams decide who’s better. Chelsea to win 2-1.
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