Friday 17 April 2015

Chelsea v United, Sunday 19th April

United manager Louis van Gaal takes his in-form Reds side to the champions elect in what promises to be a titanic Saturday teatime tussle.

The straight talking Dutchman will once again lock horns with his great friend and confidante Jose Mourinho as the Reds look to inflict a first home league defeat of the season on the Blues.

Two of the biggest personalities in the game, the pair worked together at Barcelona and have been close friends ever since, but that friendship will put aside for this fixture.

As well as the clash between the two "most quotable" managers in football, former Blues fans favourite Juan Mata returns to Stamford Bridge in a Red shirt for the first time. in an encnounter bristling with subplots.
Chelsea, as league leaders, go into the game as favourites but United are riding the crest of a wave having dispatched of top four rivals Spurs, Liverpool and City in style.
Mourinho's side may be champions in waiting, but their early season swagger and panache has been conspicuous by its absence of late and they have looked far from convincing in recent weeks having edged to single goal wins over Hull, Stoke and QPR. 

Leading scorer Diego Costa misses out for them whilst for us Michael Carrick has not recovered after limping off against City.
Defensive trio Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones also all picked up knocks in the derby and will miss Saturday's game.
Jonny Evans is still suspended but Luke Shaw is again available and Robin van Persie could also feature. 

Addressing the media on Friday, van Gaal said:

"It's part of life in football, these are the things you have to cope with.- all the injuries are from the game against City.
"Blind was injured in a tackle but played on, Rojo picked up a knock, Jones injured himself in the second half and Carrick was also off.
"We had a big hope that Blind and Jones could reach this game but they cannot.
"I shall consider playing Rooney in midfield, my selection is affected so we have to come up with a solution.
"Chelsea will be satisfied with a draw, but of course they want to beat us and we want to beat them.
"Normally I always put players in the line-up if they have played for the opponent, so I think Mata shall play.

Match odds: Chelsea 11/10 Draw 5/2 United 21/10 (bwin)
Form guide: Chelsea W D D W W W United W L W W W W

Referee: Mike Dean

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