United got the new era underway with a scintillating 4-1 demolition away at Swansea City, but things don’t get any easier for David Moyes. His first game at Old Trafford sees Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side come to town, in a game that promises to be extremely tight.
The start of the Premier League campaign is a ridiculously tricky one from a United point of view, but if the lads can grind out a positive result today it’ll certainly work in our favour. With trips to Anfield and the Etihad Stadium to come in the next three games, a tally of 10 points from our opening five games would put us in an excellent position.
KO: 20:00 BST
Venue: Old Trafford
Date: 26th August 2013
The last time these two sides met at Old Trafford was at the back end of last season, Chelsea ran out 1-0 winners that day in a game that was pretty meaningless due to the fact the title was already wrapped up. Its a completely different scenario tonight though, United will want to joins Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool on six points albeit only two weeks into the new season.
The boss has confirmed that the game has come too soon for Chicharito, Young and Nani, but Jonny Evans may be back in contention after completing the full 90 minutes for the reserves last week.
Chelsea are expected to be without David Luiz as he is still recovering from a hamstring problem, meaning Cahill and Terry are likely to start at centre-back. Their new signing Willian still hasn’t got his work permit and a decision on that will be made on Wednesday, so he won’t feature either. Other than the Brazilian duo, Chelsea have a full squad to choose from.
The away side have already played twice in the league this season, winning 2-0 and 2-1 against Aston Villa and Hull respectively. They seem like your typical Mourinho side, getting a two goal lead and then sitting back and relaxing on that. Their three ‘#10s’ in Mata, Oscar are definitely he main threats and will cause problems, so our defenders and midfield will have to be on top of their game.
United’s strength comes up front, with Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck both scoring a brace last time out. If they both play well, they should do well against Gary Cahill and the ageing John Terry. Its nice that club captain Nemanja Vidic got a full pre-season under his belt too, and hopefully his injury problems are all behind the big Serb.
Old Trafford will be rocking tonight, and I reckon the crowd will play a massive part in the result.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea