Chelsea return from a disappointing trip to the Ukraine to headline this weekend’s Super Sunday against Manchester United. Despite United not winning in their last 10 attempts at Stamford Bridge, thoughts will be cast back to last season’s 3-3 draw and what a controversial and unpredictable tie this has been over the last few years.
The lacklustre display in Donetsk appeared unusual following the dismantling of Spurs three days earlier and performances need improving greatly, RVP and Nani can’t be given the same licenses to roam as what Willian and Fernandinho had. Suspension to John Terry and Frank Lampard’s calf injury sustained on Tuesday night means the two veterans of previous clashes are set to miss the tie. However, this may not be all bad as the starting 11 looks ready to revert to the one that started at White Hart Lane and produced a great performance. If Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Fernando Torres and Oscar can produce the same liquid football with Ramires and Mikel sitting behind as ball-recycling midfielders, you have to fancy Chelsea attacks against defence.
United visit the Bridge after 4-2 and 3-2 home wins over Braga and Stoke respectively. An injury ravaged backline has seen soft goals leaked of late and with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Nemanja Vidic set to miss out, it would be an understandable for Sir Alex Ferguson to be concerned ahead of this Sunday’s tie. The one place he won’t be concerned about is United’s attacking force, Javier Hernandez helped rescue 3 points midweek with two goals, RVP has been in great form and Rooney always seems to enjoy playing against Chelsea. The Champions League fixture 2 years ago springs to mind.
The only positive about Terry’s ban is that the game thankfully won’t be eclipsed by another ‘handshake-gate’ with Rio Ferdinand. Chelsea’s recent league performances would indicate they have the upper hand coming into the game but United is definitely the hardest game of the season so far. Gary Cahill and David Luiz will need to be on top form to keep United’s attack at bay and it’s hard not to see them scorin,g although I would fancy Chelsea to outscore them if it became an open game. My prediction: 3-2.