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Chelsea v Man United: Match Preview
Undoubtedly the match of the fixture list in the Premier League is on Sunday at 4pm and involves two teams desperate for a win to maintain traction on their drive upwards in the league.
Chelsea have maintained their unbeaten home record in the Premier League under Jose Mourinho whilst Manchester United remain dangerously adrift of Champions League qualification next year. The situation could not be more precarious for United who remain five points away from fourth place and qualification for the Champions League next season. Chelsea on the other hand are only two points shy of the summit of the Premier League.
Adnan Januzaj and Wayne Rooney are probably Manchester United’s best performers this term whilst a certain RVP remains injured. Rooney may be risked in a return against Chelsea after speeding up his recovery from a groin injury. The 28-year-old has not featured for United since their New Years Day defeat to Tottenham.
United are showing signs of a return to form after a good performance against Swansea in a 4-1 win which was preceded by a 2-0 win at Wigan. Chelsea have also enjoyed recent wins at Hull City, Derby and Swansea. At home Chelsea have registered five wins and a draw in their last six matches whilst United have four wins and two draws away from home, showing better away form than at home.
The teams last met in August at Old Trafford when neither team managed to find the back of the net and previous to that just one goal decided the fixture with Chelsea taking all three points at Old Trafford.
Manchester United not qualifying for the Champions League would be unthinkable and the Red Devils could make a significant stride to meeting that objective as well as the bragging rights for being the first team to beat Jose Mourinho at home as manager of Chelsea.
Eden Hazard has been in great form for Chelsea earning him praise from Mourinho:
"The club made a big investment on him...to bring a player from France and pay the amount Chelsea did is because Chelsea trusted the player a lot," said Mourinho.
"But he is not a talented kid any more. He is now more than that. He is a player who feels and accepts the responsibility, feels and accepts that a team player is more than a talented player and he has done it without losing his fantastic ability and fantastic talent.
"The kid is in a very good moment of his career."
Mourinho also made an early case for his man to receive individual recognition.
"Three consecutive times he is man of the match, which is something nice. Let's see if the Barclays Premier League decides to give him player of the month," he added.
"Maybe they don't like to go to Cobham because the kid is waiting but the trophy is not arriving."
The 23-year-old playmaker is a reported target of Paris St Germain, who have the resources to tempt most clubs, but Mourinho is on record as saying he would not even entertain a £100million bid.
New £21m Chelsea signing Matic is expected to have his second debut against Manchester United in what will likely be a tight defensive formation. Matic is a combative defensive midfielder that will offer Chelsea set-piece height as well as a good range of passing. Whilst many will be taking a keen interest in the performance of the Serbian International who should help shore up their defencive weekness against set-pieces he will not address their goalscoring issues.
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