Manchester United v Chelsea Preview: The Title Race Starts Now
Manchester United v Chelsea
English Premier League
Monday, 26 August 2013
Kickoff: 20:00 BST
The first big match between two teams of last seasons’ top four will commence tonight at Old Trafford, where champions Manchester United welcome Chelsea at their home turf.
For the first time in the history of the re-branded Premier League, a new manager will take charge of the Manchester United side for tonight’s game. It will be a historic moment for David Moyes, the new manager in charge after taking over the reins from the retired manager Sir Alex Ferguson, to mark his first game in charge in front of home supporters and the Scot would be looking for nothing less than three points.
Their opposition Chelsea have also started their campaign brilliantly, having won both their games against Hull City and Aston Villa. They have taken a slender lead of three points already from their tonight’s opponent, and could extend the gap to six points, should Jose Mourinho’s men earn a victory at the Theatre of Dreams.
The main talking point of the match will centre around Wayne Rooney, whether he starts or not. Chelsea have had lodged two unsuccessful bids for the England international and it has been reported that a third bid from the Blues is likely to follow after the game.
Likewise, tensions have been created regarding the future of Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata, who has been targeted by both Manchester United and Arsenal.
Last weekend, Rooney came off the bench and set up two goals for United and Moyes has hinted that he may be recalled to the starting eleven today. United will miss out on the services of Rafael for this match after the Brazilian was ruled out for four weeks with a hamstring problem. Likewise, Nani, Ashley Young and Javier Hernandez are also out through injuries.
Chelsea will still miss the services of David Luiz for this game, as the Brazilian continues to nurse his hamstring problems. Mourinho would like to continue his rotation policy and could be giving a starting line-up berth to Romelu Lukaku.
In 42 Premier League matches between the two clubs, there have only been three goalless draws (April 1995; December 1998; May 2007).
United have won 13 of those 42 Premier League matches; Chelsea have won 14. And there have been 15 draws.
Manchester United have lost to Chelsea (11 times) more than any other team they have faced in the Premier League era.
Prediction for tonight
Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea
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