Monday, 26 August 2013


A thick cloud of anticipation hovers around the red side of Manchester, Old Trafford to be specific as the red devils welcome the self acclaimed "Happy One" and his Chelsea team who currently sits on top of the log and hope to even extend it further by taking all 3 points from a United side who have just enter a new era under the management of former Everton Boss David Moyes.
 Both clubs will likely have been less than enthused when the fixture computer paired the two title challengers together in just the second weekend of the season. Yet, now it is here both David Moyes and Jose Mourinho will be fully aware of the importance the match holds to make a strong statement at the beginning of new eras at the two long-time rivals.
Rumour sometime had it that Jose Mourinho was the man expected to take over the mantle when Sir Alex retired, after the pair spark up an unexpected friendship to the extent that they both shared some secrets between them and asked each other for advise in relation to certain players. But football being an unpredictable sports and with the special one then fighting a loss battle in the Spanish capital Madrid, Sir Alex played it safe by handpicking the more conserved fellow Scot David Moyes to succeed him at the Manchester United empire. A man who, for all the plaudits he earned at Everton, has never won a trophy and only ever managed two games in the Champions League.

He and the club may have full confidence in his ability to succeed at the highest level, but Moyes will know that going head-to-head with Mourinho on equal terms for the first time represents an opportunity to prove himself to the wider world.
United  enjoyed an impressive start to David Moyes reign with a 4-1 victory at Swansea City. It was a result that again highlighted Manchester United’s efficiency as well as the importance of Robin van Persie to the side; two prime factors in securing the Premier League title last season.
Meanwhile Chelsea on the other hand have showed their quality by squeezing out two victory out of two from premiership new boys Hull City and the in form Benteke led Aston Villa.
Despite the importance of this game for the two teams in terms of points, the importance of supremacy will not be over looked. As both teams try to convince the 27year old Wayne Rooney to either remain or join their team.
Chelsea have been (and are still) on the news all summer with their repeated interest in Man Utd power house Wayne Rooney but united have remain resolute as they show the world that they aren't just good at defending on the pitch alone but also off the field by rejecting two bids from Chelsea. Indeed, Mourinho has said that a third bid from Chelsea for the unsettled forward will be forthcoming after Monday’s clash. His publicly declared interest in Rooney has certainly not impressed Moyes. 
There is no doubt that all the other attacking ingredients are there for Chelsea. Even with Willian still to receive his work permit, Chelsea have an array of youthful attacking midfielders that are the envy of most clubs in the world. When the sides met in the FA Cup last season at Old Trafford, it was the introduction of Eden Hazard that swung the match as Chelsea came back to draw 2-2 before winning 1-0 in the replay. The pace and dynamism proved too much that day for a United side that has been lacking those qualities in recent times.
Manchester United will be hoping that the understanding which exist between Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand that have seen them through for some years now will not fail them tonight and that their arrow head Van Persie will not make the mistake of entering the pitch without his goal scoring boots.
David Moyes admits Wayne Rooney "a good chance of starting" for Manchester United,the England forward was introduced as a substitute in last week's win at Swansea and, after a further week's training, looks certain to face the club who have already had two bids for him turned down.
Rafael (hamstring) is out for up to four weeks, with Nani (groin), Ashley Young (ankle) and Javier Hernandez (hamstring) also not expected to be involved.
Chelsea defender David Luiz is doubtful for the trip to United as Jose Mourinho bids to strike an early blow in the title race.
Brazilian centre-back Luiz has a hamstring problem and missed the first two Premier League fixtures of the season, against Hull and Aston Villa, but could return at Old Trafford or for next Friday's UEFA Super Cup clash with Bayern Munich in Prague.
Mourinho could rotate his options, with Romelu Lukaku in line to start up front. Defender Tomas Kalas suffered a fractured leg in pre-season and is out.

Prediction: Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea

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