2017 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL HOTELS, CARDIFF June 3RD & KIEV 2018 - CLICK HERE to BOOK HOTELS PACKAGES Pre-Match Analysis: Chelsea vs Manchester United

Pre-Match Analysis: Chelsea vs Manchester United

 Pre-Match Analysis: Chelsea vs Manchester United

The boys in blue welcome the Red Devils at the Bridge this Sunday in a fiery contest. Chelsea are trying to put their disappointing loss against Shakhtar away whereas United try to go on in the right track.

Manchester United have an injury concern in Shinji Kagawa whose availability will be known only after Sir Alex Ferguson’s pre-match press conference. Meanwhile Chelsea have Marko Marin available after he returned to training yesterday.

Manchester United have a played various formations. Ranging from 4-4-2 to a 4-3-1-2 . But seeing as they must have lost Kagawa to an injury, it looks like the Scotsman will opt for a classic 4-4-2 with Rooney playing a bit deeper in the No.10 role.

This is what I expect their team lineup to look like,

Evra and Ferdinand were rested against Sporting Braga as Fergie wanted to rest the pair for the game against Chelsea. Welbeck started against Stoke and I think he’ll find himself on the team-sheet this time.
The Carrick – Scholes – Cleverly part is the hardest to figure out. I have absolutely no idea about how they work until I watched their games with squinted eyes and I think Cleverly will be rested. 
Nani is another part. After his recent squabbles with the gaffer, I don’t think he will start. Giggs on the other hand might have a higher starting chance than the others. He has played in the middle and on the left for United against Liverpool.
Fergie has experimented quite a lot in playing a diamond in the midfield with Scholes, Carrick, Kagawa and Rooney who drops deep. This had made them very effective in the center.
Valencia with his pace can be a real threat on the flanks for Ashley Cole to deal with and he can also get back to defend. Welbeck can cut inside as well as do a good job on the left as he did against Newcastle.
The RVP / Chicharito situation is also quite tough to figure out. Hernandez was the man of the match against Braga as he was pivotal in Manchester’s comeback at Old Trafford. RVP is also in rich vein of form but can he deliver the goods as well?
These are the reasons why I picked certain players –
(1) Welbeck over Giggs – Chelsea have a very weak defense, which has caused Chelsea lots of problems. The “bus” has virtually disappeared after Chelsea started playing beautiful football. Welbeck provides a double threat. He can use his pace against Ivanovic and can also cut inside to cause troubles for Cahill and Mikel, while Ramires and Cole are keeping an eye on Valencia.
(2) Chicharito over RVP – RVP uses his muscle to get around players and lethal touch to beat the keeper. With Cech manning the goal-posts, Hernandez can trouble the frail Chelsea defense with his pace and trickery. Moreover, when he is joined by Rooney and Scholes who push forward, Mikel, Cahill and Luiz will have to put up a tough fight.
Evra and Rafael are like the Chelsea pair, they love to get forward. While they do go forward, Carrick comes back. There’s a reason why he has become a make-shift center back. A 3-man defense can make the play more compact for anyone playing through the center. Majority of Chelsea attacks will start from the flanks and Mazacar will continue it through the middle.
I expect Ferguson to rest some players when he faces Chelsea for the second time in the League Cup. The League cup isn’t their highest priority and you could see a lot of young talent on show.
This my Chelsea lineup for the game,

Edit – Mikel is no.12 and not 21. Small mistake !

There must be no changes. Like United’s, Chelsea’s highest priority is the Premier League. I expect Di Matteo to make no changes as he tries to win 3 points.
Oscar, Mata and Hazard have to come back. This is where we lost it in Ukraine. Our front 3 forgot to come back in time and this gave Mkhitarayan, Fernandinho, Adriano and Willian a lot of time to combine with each other. Mata and Oscar have come back before to help out in defense and this has helped Chelsea quite a lot.
Ramires will probably start on the left. This is where I’m quite unsure of whats going to happen. Both Welbeck and Valencia are very good players and Ramires plays in the role where he can help the fullbacks out. In my opinion by starting on the left, he can counter Valencia’s pace with his own pace. Moreover Mikel will push deeper to stop Welbeck and Rooney from strutting their stuff. 
I would start Sturridge before Torres, as he looks more confident. Sturridge came on in the dying minutes against Tottenham and grabbed a goal, whereas Torres failed to find the back of the net. Sturridge has had enough of time to understand Di Matteo’s way of playing . He can also play on the right wing and this makes it much easier for him to drift to the flanks and combine well with Chelsea’s midfielders.
Oscar on the other hand, will close in on Scholes and Rooney. He was given the duty of stopping Hubschman but he did not move at all as Fernandinho did most of the attack. This nullified both of their duties. Against United though, he will have to push deeper down the field as he helps out in stopping Rooney and Scholes. A tough task but I’m sure he is well capable of it.
There’s a chance that Di Matteo might turn to the pair of Bertrand and Moses. Chelsea’s defensive condition is very worrying and by bringing on the pair, we can ensure a good defense and a decent attack.
For the League Cup, we can see a host of changes. This includes the return of Marko Marin and Sturridge given a definite chance. Moreover Bertrand and Moses will also be involved.
Come on Chelsea ! Carefree since 1905.
Sherry Philips (@bluebloodSherry), Deputy Editor

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