Friday, April 2, 2010

Clash of the TITANS



Old Trafford will face the much awaited " clash of the TITANS " today with the table toppers Manchester United and Chelsea playing against each other today afternoon. The match may turn out to be a Final in prospect of Premier League title hunt as the two teams are separated by just one point in the table.

Manchester United will not have the service of inform striker and the leading goal scorer Wein Rooney as he picked up an injury during the Champions League clash with Bayern Munich. While Chelsea will feel much stronger as their main hit man Drogba came back to side after sidelined to last match with an injury.
Man Utd
Injured: Anderson (knee), Brown & Welbeck (both metatarsal), Owen (hamstring), Rooney (ankle)

Injured: Bosingwa, Essien & Ivanovic (all knee), Carvalho & A Cole (both ankle)

April could prove to be the cruellest month, at least for Manchester United fans. The Red Devils could be without star man Wayne Rooney for three crucial weeks after he damaged ankle ligaments in Tuesday's Champions League loss at Bayern Munich.

Wayne Rooney has had a fantastic season but his injury could be an advantage for us
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti

Rooney now faces an anxious wait to see if United's pursuit of Premier League and Champions League glory falters in his absence.
While Sir Alex Ferguson has lost his biggest goal threat, the headache for Carlo Ancelotti is how to find room for both of his front-line strikers. Perversely, Chelsea have produced some of their best performances without leading scorer Didier Drogba. His absence allows Nicolas Anelka to play a more advanced role, which in turn gives Frank Lampard more space in midfield.
Drogba was not involved in either of the Blues' seven-goal victories this season (against Aston Villa and Sunderland). Chelsea also had few problems coping without him during the Africa Cup of Nations, winning all five of their league and cup games in January. But with 10 goals in his last eight league games, dropping Drogba is not an option.
Ancelotti may feel now is a good time to visit Old Trafford, scene of his win in the 2003 Champions League final with AC Milan. The Red Devils have lost three of the four league games that have followed European away games this season.
The Italian, who has won five of his last six meetings with Sir Alex Ferguson, says Rooney's injury is a boost to Chelsea's title hopes, but he knows better than most that United will fight to the finish. Ancelotti was the Juventus coach when the Red Devils famously clawed back a two-goal deficit in Turin to reach the 1999 Champions League final.


• Chelsea and Man United have met 35 times in the Premier League, with the Blues winning 11, the Red Devils 10 and 14 games drawn.
• Manchester United are unbeaten in their last four home league games against Chelsea, winning three of those. The Blues' last win at Old Trafford was 3-1 on 10 May 2005.

• The Red Devils have won nine of their last 11 league games, scoring 30 goals in the process. The 3-1 loss at Everton is their only defeat in 14 top-flight games.
• Manchester United have won their last nine league games without Wayne Rooney, a run stretching back to December 2008.
• The Red Devils have conceded only nine league goals in 16 league games at Old Trafford this season. No Premier League club has a better defensive record on home soil.
• Manchester United have benefited from 11 own goals in this season's Premier League.
• The Blues have netted 82 goals in 32 league games, the highest tally in England.
• Chelsea have won their last five league matches against 'Big Four' clubs, keeping clean sheets in the last four of those victories.
• Didier Drogba has scored 10 goals in eight league matches since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations.


Man Utd
Rooney: 34 goals (26 league);
Berbatov: 12 goals (12 league)

Drogba: 30 goals (24 league); Lampard: 21 goals (17 league)
Referee: Mike Dean
Assistant referees: Simon Beck & Stephen Child
Fourth official: Chris Foy

Man Utd (W4-0 v Bolton, a): Van der Sar, Neville, Vidic, Jonathan Evans, Evra, Fletcher (Gibson 80), Scholes (Carrick 74), Valencia, Giggs (Macheda 84), Nani, Berbatov. Subs not used: Kuszczak, Park, Rafael Da Silva, De Laet.

Chelsea (W7-1 v Aston Villa, h): Cech, Ferreira, Alex, Terry, Zhirkov (Van Aanholt 76), Deco (Ballack 72), Mikel, Lampard, Joe Cole (Kalou 76), Anelka, Malouda. Subs not used: Turnbull, Drogba, Sturridge, Bruma.

Chelsea 1-0 Man Utd (8 November 2009)
Chelsea scorer: Terry 76

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