Chelsea v Manchester United

17 December 2010 11:09
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is poised to make his first start since August after returning from injury as a substitute at Tottenham last weekend.Didier Drogba is likely to be restored to the side. [LNB]Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is expected to change his starting line-up for the 152nd match in a row. [LNB]Dimitar Berbatov and Ryan Giggs are hoping for recalls, and John O'Shea should overcome a minor calf problem. [LNB][LNB]Chelsea[LNB]Injured: Alex (knee), Benayoun (Achilles), Borini (shoulder), Bosingwa (hamstring) [LNB]Manchester United[LNB]Doubtful: O'Shea (calf) [LNB]Injured: Hargreaves & Owen (both hamstring), Scholes (groin), Valencia (ankle) [LNB][LNB] MATCH PREVIEW With Manchester United turning the blue tide into a sea of red, it's high time champions Chelsea stop treading water.[LNB] Sunday is a massive game. That will go a long way to establishing what happens at the top of the league Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson Carlo Ancelotti's double winners have gone from being formidable to fallible in little over a month, their worst run of form for more than a decade exacerbated by United's club record unbeaten start to the season. [LNB]Ancelotti, who has dismissed speculation over his future, believes Chelsea rediscovered their form in last Sunday's draw at Tottenham, but the sea of doubters includes illustrious former Blues Frank Leboeuf and Marcel Desailly. Defeat in this fixture would leave Chelsea six points adrift of Manchester United, who have a game in hand. [LNB]United have already dimmed London's brightest lights once this season, in the Community Shield, with Ryan Giggs stating Chelsea were made to look ordinary. However, the same can be said of United's record at Stamford Bridge: they have failed to win on any of their last nine visits. [LNB]Sir Alex Ferguson's side have also lost five of their seven previous league trips to fellow Big Four clubs, while Chelsea can point to an enviable record of four successive home victories in such fixtures. The hosts desperately need to extend that sequence to stay afloat in the title race. [LNB][LNB] MATCH FACTS Head-to-head[LNB]• Chelsea are the only club in Premier League history to have a positive win/loss record against Manchester United - the London side lead by 12 victories to 10. [LNB]• United are winless in their last nine visits to Stamford Bridge in all competitions (D4, L5) since a 3-0 league victory in April 2002. [LNB]• Carlo Ancelotti has won five of his last six meetings with Sir Alex Ferguson, excluding Community Shield matches. [LNB] Have your say on this match Chelsea[LNB]• Chelsea's current run of six points from a possible 21 is their worst form since an identical return in March 1998. [LNB]• They have gone five league matches without a win for the first time since drawing their last five fixtures of the 2006/07 season. The club's last six-match winless streak was between August and September 2000. [LNB]• The champions still have the best defensive record in the top flight, conceding 12 goals in 17 matches, but have only kept one clean sheet in the last eight. [LNB]• Nicolas Anelka has scored 34 goals in 99 league appearances for Chelsea. [LNB]• Ashley Cole will be playing on the eve of his 30th birthday. [LNB]Manchester United[LNB]• United have gone 21 league matches without defeat and set a club record of 16 matches unbeaten from the start of the season. [LNB]• They are undefeated in their last 12 away matches in the league, but have only won one of seven Premier League trips this season. [LNB]• The Red Devils have the most potent attack in the top flight, scoring 36 goals in 16 matches. [LNB]• Gary Neville is one shy of 400 Premier League appearances. [LNB]• Patrice Evra will be making his 150th league appearance for United. [LNB]• Nani is poised for his 100th start for the club. [LNB][LNB] LEADING GOALSCORERS [LNB]Chelsea[LNB]Anelka: 10 goals (3 league); Drogba & Malouda: 8 goals (7 league) [LNB]NB. Drogba has had a goal taken away by the Dubious Goals Committee, who ruled that his strike against Blackpool on 19 September should be credited as an own goal by Ian Evatt.[LNB][LNB]Manchester United[LNB]Berbatov: 12 goals (11 league); Hernandez: 7 goals (4 league) [LNB][LNB] MATCH OFFICIALS Referee: Martin Atkinson [LNB]Assistant referees: Peter Kirkup & Mike Mullarkey [LNB]Fourth official: Peter Walton [LNB][LNB] LAST LEAGUE MATCH LINE-UPS Chelsea (D1-1 v Tottenham, a): Cech; Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Mikel (Drogba 46), Essien, Kalou (Sturridge 68), Anelka, Malouda (Lampard 77). Subs not used: Turnbull, van Aanholt, Bruma, McEachran. [LNB]Manchester United (W1-0 v Arsenal, h): Van der Sar; Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Nani, Carrick, Anderson (Giggs 85), Fletcher, Park, Rooney. Subs not used: Kuszczak, Brown, Berbatov, Smalling, Hernandez, Obertan.

Source: BBC_Sport