Chelsea v Man U

Chelsea v Manchester United – Sunday 28th October – Stamford Bridge (18:00)

Chelsea v Manchester United

The English Premier League race is already hotting up as the three favourites at the start of the season, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea, occupy the top three positions on the table. This weekend sees an important top of the table clash as rivals Chelsea host Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea and United will also meet in the League Cup on Wednesday at the same venue.

Chelsea cemented their position at the top of the table as a superb double from Juan Mata clinched a 4-2 win over Tottenham last weekend, while Wayne Rooney ensured Manchester United remain hot on the leaders’ heels with a 4-2 victory against Stoke in a game where the England star scored at both ends.

The Blues are unbeaten so far and have beaten both Arsenal and Tottenham away from home already. Roberto Di Matteo’s side were in danger of suffering their first league defeat of the season at the hands of former boss Villas-Boas, who was sacked after just nine months in charge last season, as Tottenham took a 2-1 lead in the second half at White Hart Lane. But Spanish midfielder Mata struck twice in the space of three minutes to secure Chelsea’s seventh win from eight league matches. Gary Cahill scored the opener while Sturridge killed the game off with the fourth goal in the 90th minute. Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard have settled in as a trio more quickly than anyone anticipated, including their manager. By using all three in support of Fernando Torres, Di Matteo has been able to bring about Roman Abramovich’s desired change of style and image, which has now yielded 20 goals in five games. Captain John Terry is still out with a four-match ban for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand. However, Gary Cahill and David Luiz, along with Ashley Cole and Branislav Ivanovic are trusted by Matteo in continuing Chelsea excellent defensive record at home where they have conceded just three times in four matches.

At Old Trafford, Rooney went from zero to hero with a double strike after the United striker initially gave Stoke a shock lead in the 10th minute when he headed into his own net as he tried to clear the ball. Rooney was quickly back in United’s good books with a headed equaliser – his first club goal of the season – from Robin van Persie’s cross in the 27th minute. Van Persie made it 2-1 with a classy finish and Danny Welbeck gave United a two-goal cushion with a header from a Rooney cross before Rooney himself killed off the game. The striking partnership of Van Persie and Rooney looks to be finally clicking as the talented duo have only been allowed three matches together due to injury and match fitness. The Dutchman has settled in at United perfectly and now has eight goals in 10 appearances. Sir Alex Ferguson will be hoping the duo continue their sterling form. Ferguson will also have another attacking option in Ashley Young returning to match fitness after injury.  The Red Devils have six wins and two losses against Everton (away) and Tottenham (home). They have scored 21 goals, the most in the league, but their defence has been shaky with the absence of captain Nemanja Vidic. United have conceded 11 goals, which is almost double of Chelsea’s six.

The last time United beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the league was in the 2001/2002 season. Di Matteo has got Chelsea playing a good brand off football and this team look likely to be one of the front-runners in the title race all season. Chelsea’s rampant performances are tipped to continue here.

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