Chelsea v United Preview
Having eliminated the gap between ourselves and Manchester City in midweek, by the time we go to Stamford Bridge tomorrow afternoon we`ll know exactly what we have to do to ensure the pressure is kept up on Roberto Mancini`s title fledglings. Hopefully, United will get the win to keep up that pressure but, we should point out, Stamford Bridge hasn`t been a happy hunting ground for United, in the Premier League, for a while now.
With Anders Lindegaard out injured from anywhere between three to six weeks, depending on what news source you read, Sir Alex Ferguson will turn to the under-fire David Gea in goal this Sunday.
Although De Gea has made some errors, Sir Alex has every confidence in his ability, remarking about the lad at his pre-match press conference,
"The boy has got a great talent, no doubt about that."
"He has made two or three mistakes, coming into the game at 20 years of age."
"He`s 21 now, and in two or three years time, we won`t be discussing this because he will have matured. He will realise his potential then."
"He`s found it difficult coming into the English game."
"The first goal at Liverpool was a case in point. He was crowded out and our own players created the problem, with so many being around him."
"They didn`t give him any room to manoeuvre. He would never have experienced that in Spain."
"It`s highlighted when you make a mistake at United and it can be exaggerated a little. But there were mistakes and he wants to address them himself. He will do it."
A man-of-the-match performance as United win 1-0 would be the perfect answer we feel!
Chelsea Team News:
Any furore over a potential handshake problem between our own Rio Ferdinand and John Terry has been alleviated by the news that Terry, the former England captain, will not feature due to a knee injury.
Chelsea`s hopes of a victory are also hampered by the suspension being served by Ashley Cole and with Ramires and Frank Lampard out injured, matters have improved for united. Even more so when you consider that a real threat, in Didier Drogba, is over in Africa competing in the African Cup of Nations.
Player to watch: David Luiz
Criticised by some for his lax defending but, in my opinion, a joy to watch (for neutrals) as his eccentricity lights up what we can only describe as a dull Chelsea team.
United Team News:
We believe that the lengthy injury list Sir Alex Ferguson has had to cope with is getting a little shorter.
Although Darren Fletcher, Nemanja Vidic, Michael Owen, Phil Jones and Anders Lindegaard are all still out, we understand that the prospect so some of Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young, Nani and David De Gea will be fit enough to be considered for selection.
It`ll be interesting to see who gets the nod.
Player to watch: David De Gea
Having put his faith in him, Sir Alex will be hoping for an error free performance from the Spaniard, let`s hope he obliges.
Match Facts & Stats
Like we said in the introduction, Stamford Bridge isn`t the best of grounds to visit for United. It`s almost a decade since we tasted victory, in the Premier League, there, although there was the sweet scent of success back in April when we knocked them out of the Champions League, with a victory at Stamford Bridge. More of that please lads!
Howard Webb is the man appointed to take charge.
Although Chelsea played well in the reciprocating fixture at Old Trafford, despite losing 3-1, Andre Villas-Boas hasn`t delivered what many though he might. Chelsea are a pale imitation of the side we`ve face din previous fixtures and with several key players missing or injured, I reckon they are there for the taking. If we can get an early goal they could crumble and it could be a magnificent afternoon. Whatever way I look at it I can only see one outcome - a United win!
We`re at home next weekend against our old friends - Liverpool, now that will be interesting!