Another Premier League season is drawing to a close and once again, Chelsea will come to Old Trafford this Sunday in what will be the title decider. Need I remind all readers what happened in this game at the same point last season…
Cast your mind back a year. United had dramatically crashed out of Europe thanks to a Robben volley that sent Bayern Munich through to the next round at our expense. We then had to face Chelsea at home and controversial decisions swept away our hopes of the title and I remember the feeling of having everything and then losing it all within one week. This year has already seen a difference with United beating German opposition in the knock-out stages of the Champions League for the first time with a comfortable 6-1 victory over 2 legs against Schalke. However, this Sunday will provide one of the most intense matches against Chelsea in the Premier League in a long, long time. Why so?
Chelsea will still be hungover following their Champions League exit at the hands of United in the quarter-finals. We dominated them over both legs and performed when it mattered. Chelsea were a shadow of the team that remained unbeaten against us at Stamford Bridge since 2002 and the momentum sits firmly in the pocket of United.
SAF has come out in the media and cited his fears about the referee on Sunday but was glad that Howard Webb has been to chosen to officiate the match.
“We are getting the best referee, there is no doubt about that, but (getting a bad decision) is definitely our big fear.”
Some people may cry wolf following SAF and his outbursts against officials this season but he has every right this weekend to be worried about Chelsea getting decisions following the crimes against football seen at Stamford Bridge last week.
They didn’t drain their luck fountain after being given this goal that never was and used the rest of it up when Kalou scored a winner from an offside position in the 88th minute. Chelsea shouldn’t be in this title race going into Sunday and they will know that, so that is something that will probably give them mental strength on Sunday.
In terms of form going into the game, Chelsea sit atop of the Premier League form chart but United will go into this fixture as the favourites. We are undefeated at home this season and we intend to stay that way. I expect Ferguson to ring the changes once again and bring in the same line-up that started against Chelsea in the Champions League, with maybe the exception that Rafael will step in for O’Shea. Giggs played wonderful as a CM in the game and I really hope he plays it again but SAF might choose to bring in Anderson and hope that he can use the confidence gained against Schalke in the Premier League.
I am not sure that Hernandez is the right choice against Chelsea as he seems unable to use his pace effectively but I can’t see SAF changing his system this late on to bring in Berbatov for him. One thing that I do know however is that the game on Sunday is going to be an electric occasion from the first whistle until the dying seconds of the game. I can’t see United losing our record in the penultimate home fixture of the season and I hope we can make it 3 out of 3 wins in the last three games against Chelsea.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea