Home » Uncategorized » Chelsea v Manchester United Preview: Can United Make It Two Wins In A Row At The Bridge?

Chelsea v Manchester United Preview: Can United Make It Two Wins In A Row At The Bridge?

published :

Manchester United were expected to beat Stoke City at home on Tuesday. Everton in truth were not expected to beat Manchester City at Goodison Park on the same night. Darron Gibson’s winner meant United drew level once again with City at the top of the table, in yet another twist in the title-race. 

With City beating Fulham yesterday, United know that they face a challenge to stay level with Roberto Mancini’s side as they arguably have the harder fixture of the weekend away to Andre Villas-Boas’ inconsistent Chelsea side.

Chelsea have had a difficult season by their standards and for the first time under Roman Ambramovich’s ownership are not slugging it out for the Premier League title. Instead they are fighting it out with Harry Redknapp’s Spurs for third place.

With John Terry and Ashley Cole missing today’s game due to injury and suspension respectively, it represents a massive opportunity for United to claim their first league win at Stamford Bridge since April 2002 against a vulnerable and inexperienced Chelsea back four.

United will be looking to make it two victories in a row at the home of Chelsea having tasted a win there in the Champions League last April thanks to a Wayne Rooney goal and a quite stunning defensive performance that held off a sustained spell of pressure.

Despite having a wretched season to date, Fernando Torres cannot be underestimated by United’s defence today and it would be somewhat predictable of the striker to get a goal today, just as everyone bar Chelsea’s fans have seemingly written him off.

So what can we expect from tomorrow’s game. What will be the key battles on the pitch?

Rio Ferdinand v Fernando Torres

On United’s last visit to Stamford Bridge, Ferdinand had one of his best ever games for the club with a calm and solid performance that rolled back the years, dispelling the doubts that the former England captain cannot play anymore on the big occasion.

Torres actually played well for Chelsea that night and would have scored with a header but for a fantastic save from Edwin Van der Sar. He has troubled Ferdinand in the past and even with his sluggish form can do so today.

Antonio Valencia v Jose Boswinga

Without a shadow of a doubt, Valencia has been United’s in-form player since the turn of the year and has evolved into a top-class winger of his own since joining from Wigan rather than just being Cristiano Ronaldo’s replacement.

Chelsea’s regular left-back Cole is suspended so Boswinga will step up knowing that he has a hell of a task against him to keep United’s Ecuadorian quiet. Valencia has enjoyed success against Chelsea in the past and on-form will be hard to stop today.

Javier Hernandez v Gary Cahill

Back in September when United romped to a 5-0 win away at Bolton, Hernandez scored twice and ran Chelsea’s new signing Cahill ragged, showing that the talented centre-back does have one or two signs of weakness in his locker.

With Terry missing, Cahill appears odds-on to make his Chelsea debut and although Hernandez may not start the game, he may be able to capitalise on the defender’s lack of pace who certainly will be tested throughout by Wayne Rooney.

In terms of a prediction for the game, as I stated earlier on in a on in a predictions article, I believe that this will be a tough game and United may have to settle for a 1-1 draw, which in all honesty would not be a bad result to go back to Manchester with.

Chelsea will be up for this game. It’s a must-win for Villas-Boas who will know that a defeat today and a Spurs win over Liverpool on Monday would see his side fall to 10 points behind Harry Redknapp’s Spurs. He won’t be allowing that to happen easily.

By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87