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Chelsea v United: Preview

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17 Dec 2010 15:15:13

Chelsea v United: Preview

Sir Alex Ferguson has challenged Anderson to celebrate his new contract by increasing his goals output ahead of the Chelsea clash. The Brazilian midfielder has penned a new four-and-a-half-year contract with the Old Trafford outfit after making a remarkable recovery from cruciate ligament surgery. Twelve months ago, it appeared the 22-year-old was destined to be heading through the exit door. But rather like Nani, who also joined the Reds in 2007, Anderson has enjoyed an unexpected upturn in fortunes and his forceful midfield displays are one of the reasons why United have turned their Premier League campaign on its head over the past month. Yet Anderson remains an unconvincing figure in front of goal. His leveller in the Champions League clash with Valencia earlier this month was only his second since a £17million arrival from Porto and he wasted an excellent opportunity to double United's lead against Arsenal on Monday, having been sent clean through by Wayne Rooney. "Anderson could be a top player," Ferguson told www.manutd.com. "He is strong, he can beat a man and has great acceleration from a standing position. "He is electric in that sense. "The area he has to improve is goalscoring. He recognises that and all the players tell him. "That is his weakness. He doesn't score enough goals. "But he is still only 22. He is an emerging player and hopefully in three or four years' time we will be looking back and saying he has given us goals because he has the ability to do it." With Paul Scholes still ruled out by a groin injury that has been affecting him for three weeks now, Anderson will be a key figure at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as United look to subdue a Chelsea side bolstered by the return of Frank Lampard. After looking secure in top spot a month ago, Carlo Ancelotti's men have faded dramatically, now find themselves in fourth spot and realise defeat will severely dent their challenge. Not that Ferguson is being lured into the view that the Londoners are a team in crisis. "We all have these spells," he said. "We had it early on. We were the ones giving points away. "We analysed how and why we dropped points and I am sure Carlo will be doing the same." John O'Shea (calf) is a doubt as United attempt to secure their first win at Stamford Bridge since 2002. Lampard will start for Chelsea after the England midfielder came through the final 12 minutes of last weekend's 1-1 draw at Tottenham and a 60-minute practice match on Thursday unscathed following three and a half months out injured. Jose Bosingwa, Alex, Yury Zhirkov and Yossi Benayoun remain sidelined. Chelsea (from): Cech, Turnbull, Hilario, Ivanovic, Ferreira, Cole, Terry, Essien, Lampard, Mikel, Ramires, McEachran, Malouda, Kalou, Drogba, Anelka, Bruma, Sturridge, Kakuta, Van Aanholt. Manchester United (from): Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Amos, Rafael, O'Shea, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Smalling, Brown, Evans, Evra, Fabio, Fletcher, Nani, Park, Carrick, Anderson, Obertan, Giggs, Rooney, Berbatov, Hernandez, Macheda, Bebe. Chelsea league form: LLDDD United league form: DDWWW Key opponent: Frank Lampard - Chelsea have missed him badly, but if he's not at full tilt United could benefit Prediction: Chelsea 1 United 2 - it's a good time to play Chelsea and United have the winning habit Agree with the prediction? Have your say. Click here for all the latest odds from Betfred


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