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Chelsea v Manchester United - Match Preview
Published : 08 Nov 2009 09:57:18
Chelsea v Manchester United
Chelsea host Manchester United in this weekend's headline match on Sunday, with a place at the top of the Premier League the prize for the victors.
Carlo Ancelotti has developed a Chelsea side which has quickly learned how to cope with the league's big clubs - they have a 100 per cent home record against the top sides under the Italian - and with United suffering from poor form he will fancy his chances.
It is Chelsea who hold all the trump cards coming into this weekend, including a two-point lead and a perfect home record, added to the fact that it is 13 hours and counting since last they conceded at Stamford Bridge.
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Perhaps their greatest advantage though is the situation at Old Trafford, where United have looked out of sorts since Liverpool beat them 2-0 two weeks ago, hindered by an injury list that has recently included all of their first-choice back four.
The Red Devils could be missing only Rio Ferdinand this weekend, much to the relief of Sir Alex Ferguson who saw a second-string defence torn apart by CSKA Moscow on Tuesday, only for two late goals to dig United out of a hole and earn a 3-3 draw.
Ferguson has been in a traditionally determined mood ahead of the trip to London, saying: "It's always a hard game at Chelsea, but we'll deal with it better than we did at Anfield, I'm sure of that."
Ferguson will have to choose between Jonny Evans and Wes Brown in the centre of defence should Ferdinand fail a fitness test, while John O'Shea should continue at right-back with Gary Neville suspended.
Rounding off the back four is Patrick Evra, who is back after a foot injury. The French left-back was in no doubt earlier this week as to what this match means to United.
"When people ask me which game I want to win this season it's the game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. So it's going to be a very important match for us," Evra told MUTV.
The Blues have a number of players in danger of missing out through injury, with a number requiring fitness tests including Ashley Cole, Yuri Zhirkov and Salomon Kalou.