Manchester United’s away form this campaign has been less than desirable; then again, the Red Devils only have one loss to lowly Wolves this campaign and look to be back on track after the embarrassment. They have three relatively in-form strikers, one of which will perform terrifically (typically) when the other two flounder or just have an average day on the pitch. The Blues, on the other hand, have a striker dilemma in a bad sense. Three “World-Class” strikers sit on the squad who are all erratic in form and don’t look to be meshing very well together. The once masterful Didier Drogba has looked disinterested since the arrival of mega signing Fernando Torres and thus has been relegated to the bench in favor of the Spaniard. Nicholas Anelka has shown he still is capable of being the deadly finisher even with an occasionally sour attitude though these terrific performances are as unpredictable as Ashley Cole with an air rifle (sorry, had to say it). Fernando Torres has yet to net for the Blues and his last performance was at least decent in the Champions League, linking well with Anelka on occasion. His killer goal-scoring mentality is still lacking and I’m nearly ready to say that the Spaniard’s best days are unfortunately behind him.
Chelsea will be well rested for the contest, luckily, and they’ll need every bit of energy to knock off United or at least gain some valuable points. The key battles will be played in the midfield. Michael Essien has been a shell of himself recently and Ramieres has yet to truly settle into the squad, despite being a relatively major component of the Blues for quite some time now. A true ball-winner needs to develop between the two or the strangely popular choice, John Obi Mikel. United’s ball movement has been great in recent fixtures and if Chelsea don’t disrupt possession long enough to hold the ball for a considerable chunk of time, this will be a walk in the park for the Red Devils. Though these games get hyped to no almost annoying levels, the result almost always ends up with no more than 2 goals in the contest. Hopefully a few shin guards will be broken in the match and we see a physical battle.
Prediction: Manchester United 1, Chelsea 0.
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