Cup Preview: Chelsea v Manchester United
PART two of Chelsea versus Manchester United this week starts on a sour note.
Not only are Chelsea furious about the nature of Sunday’s 3-2 defeat at Stamford Bridge, but they have also lodged a complaint against referee Mark Clattenburg for using “inappropriate language”, including racist words, towards two Blues players.
The home fans will be in no mood to see another United victory here after what was more than a suspicion of offside for the winning goal.
For United, the win was their first league win at Stamford Bridge in a decade, and they will hope to follow that up by knocking Chelsea out of the League Cup in their own backyard.
Roberto Di Matteo’s men had an easier draw in the last round, against Wolverhampton Wanderers, and gave them a masterclass in possession as they won 6-0.
United, however, had a tougher draw against Newcastle, but survived a late scare to win 2-1 at Old Trafford.
Both clubs have won the League Cup four times, with three of United’s victories coming in 2006, 2009 and 2010. Chelsea’s last League Cup success was in 2007, during the Jose Mourinho era.
There have only been three meetings between the clubs in the competition though, with United winning two, in 1970 and 2002, both ties being at Old Trafford.
In 2005, the teams met in the semi-final of the competition. After a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea went to Old Trafford and claimed a 2-1 victory to progress to the final where they beat Liverpool at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.
Although it’s now usual for the bigger teams to select their younger, fringe players for the League Cup, both managers may opt for more experience as they will want to progress.
Chelsea will be without captain John Terry again, and Frank Lampard is still out with a calf injury.
After picking up red cards on Sunday, both Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres will miss Wednesday’s encounter too.
For United, there are no new injury concerns. Shinji Kagawa, Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic are all still out with knee injuries, and Chris Smalling isn’t yet match fit.
Provisional Squad (Chelsea): Cech, Turnbull, Cole, Luiz, Ferreira, Cahill, Bertrand, Azpilicueta, Romeu, Ramires, Mata, Oscar, Mikel, Moses, Malouda, Hazard, Marin, Sturridge.
Provisional Squad (United): De Gea, Lindegaard, Da Silva, Evra, Ferdinand, Evans, Buttner, Wootton, Valencia, Anderson, Giggs, Carrick, Nani, Young, Scholes, Cleverley, Fletcher, Powell, Rooney, van Persie, Welbeck, Hernandez.
Quays News Prediction: 1-1 Chelsea to win on penalties - After Sunday’s five-goal thriller, I’m not sure this will be another high-scoring game. Although the teams may be pumped, Chelsea are without a front-man, and United will be closed down by Chelsea’s defence. But when it comes to penalties, Chelsea have the more experienced keeper, and with the home crowd, I can’t see United progressing to the next round.
By Will Moorcroft
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