VENUE: Old Trafford, Manchester
DATE: 26th August 2013
KICKOFF: 8pm (BST)
It was business as usual in the Barclays Premier League as the champions kicked off with a convincing victory against Swansea City. It was the perfect start for David Moyes with his team scoring four scoring four in swashbuckling style reminiscent of former gaffer Sir Alex Ferguson. But now they face a difficult test against a rejuvenated Chelsea side under their returning boss Jose Mourinho at the Theatre of Dreams.
Robin van Persie has started this season right where he left off by scoring two wonderful goals. The first being an acrobatic volley and the second being a solo effort from the edge of the penalty area. Even Danny Welbeck looked in good touch as he scored a brace beating his tally from last season. Swansea were able to get a consolation goal through their new recruit Wilfried Bony after having caught Welbeck in possession. United dominated most parts of the game having 53% of possession. Chelsea also had a good start to their campaign registering wins against Hull City and Aston Villa. Eden hazard was in good form in both the matches. Mourinho is trying to integrate all his new recruits slowly into the team. Frank Lampard started both the games and scored a thunderous freekick against Hull City which shows that the veteran midfielder has an important part to play in Chelsea’s season. John Terry looks to be back to his best after having an indifferent season last year.
This will be the first big match of the season and if Chelsea can come back with all 3 points they will surely have a psychological advantage over their title rivals as it would open a six point gap between them and their opponents so early in the season. This will be the first home game for David Moyes and his side will come out all guns blazing for the victory. In both the previous games Chelsea just played enough to win the games just like ‘Vintage Mourinho’ but I expect Chelsea to be a lot sharper and play with more purpose in this game . In the game against Aston Villa Juan Mata was seen playing more on the wings with Oscar preferred as the central playmaker. Due to this the Spaniard had little influence on the game. Van Persie will start the game and he is sure to give Chelsea central defenders a hard time with his movement. Romelu Lukaku who was a second half substitute in both the games looked lively and was involved in many of the teams build up play there’s a good chance he may start up front for the Blues. The United defence looks good with Nemanja Vidic back in the team. The much hyped ‘Rooney Saga’ doesn’t look to be nearing any conclusion as Mourinho hinted about a third bid for the striker with United reluctant to sell him. It will be interesting to see if he will start the game after assisting two goals in his 30 minute cameo against Swansea.
- Manchester United will be missing Rafael through injury while Nani (groin),Ashley Young (ankle) and Javier Hernandez (hamstring) are all likely to miss out
- Jose Mourinho has confirmed that David Luiz is going to miss the game through hamstring injury and Thomas Kalas also misses out with a fractured leg.
- This will be 143rd time that this two teams meet with United winning 59 of them while Chelsea have won 41.
- In the 2012/2013 season the teams met 5 times and 20 goals were scored between them.
- In the Premier League Manchester United have the worst record against Chelsea where they have lost 14 matches with a win percentage of only 31%
- Jose Mourinho 1st match in his first reign was against Manchester United with Chelsea winning the match 1-0 with the only goal being scored by Eidur Gudjohnsen
- Juan Mata has scored in the three Premier League meetings between these teams.
Manchester United: De Gea, Jones, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Cleverley , Carrick, Welbeck, Rooney, Valencia, Van Persie.
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Van Ginkel, Hazard, Oscar, Mata, Lukaku.
Man United 1-2 Chelsea