Chelsea vs. Manchester United – Match Preview: UEFA Champions League

  • Reading time:5 mins read
  • Post comments:0 Comments

Manchester United and Chelsea turn their attention towards the UEFA Champions League as both English clubs come face to face against each other in the first leg of their quarterfinal tie in London, at Stamford Bridge tonight. With a semi-final spot on the
line, one can be sure that both the English giants will be gunning all the way to the second leg in Manchester. Thus, let’s take a look at how both the teams might line up on Wednesday, 6th of April 2011.


Chelsea drew against Stoke City in the English Premier League in their last game, eliminating any chances they had left to get ahead of United. Out of the title race, Carlo Ancelotti’s men must now put all their eggs in a single basket and aim for the UEFA
Champions League. No London club has ever won Europe’s premier cup competition but Chelsea came closest when they lost to Manchester United on penalties in the final of the 2008 UEFA Champions League.

Not only does this all-English quarterfinal carry a lot of history, it also carries a sense of injustice for Chelsea, as it was their skipper John Terry who missed the vital spot kick against Manchester United back in May 2008. Chelsea’s route to the quarterfinals
included a relatively easy two legged win over Copenhagen F.C in the round of sixteen but their main worry remains the lack of form that Fernando Torres has exhibited ever since his 50 million pound transfer to the Blues from Liverpool.

Manchester United

Manchester United increased their lead at the top of the English Premier League table to seven points in their last game due to their fantastic 4-2 win over West Ham United, away from home. Sir Alex Ferguson’s men have seen a rich run of form in the UEFA
Champions League as they drew away at Olympique Marseille before defeating the French champions by two goals to one at Old Trafford. In doing so, the Red Devils cemented their place amongst the last eight teams of the UEFA Champions League.

Many pundits have stated that United has been unconvincing this season, but with a massive quarter final on the horizon, Ferguson will be pushing his troops to improve on their previous displays in order to gain a favourable result against Chelsea on their
home soil on Wednesday night. However, the history of encounters amongst the two clubs is against the Red Devils. Chelsea has won five out of the last six meetings between them. United’s latest loss to Chelsea came in the first week of March when the Blues
won by two goals to one at Stamford Bridge in the English Premier League.

Team News

Chelsea has a relatively fit squad ahead of their match against Manchester United. Their only injury worry is Alex, as the Brazilian center back is sidelined till the second week of April with a knee injury. Yossi Benayoun is also a fitness doubt for the
tie on Wednesday night due to his long standing Achilles problem.

Expected Chelsea line up: Petr Cech, Jose Bosingwa, Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Michael Essien, Frank Lampard, Ramires Santos, John Obi Mikel, Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka

Manchester United has several injury concerns as well. Sir Alex is still fretting on the fitness levels of Rio Ferdinand who trained on the weekend after partially recovering from his calf strain. John O’Shea, Rafael da Silva and Owen Hargreaves are still
out of action because of their respective fitness issues.

Expected Manchester United line up: Edwin Van der Sar, Wes Brown, Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling, Patrice Evra, Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher, Luis Nani, Antonio Valencia, Wayne Rooney

Key Players

Chelsea will bank on Nicolas Anelka to score for them against Manchester United. The French target man has seen a high run of form in the UEFA Champions League this season. The ex-Real Madrid man has already scored seven goals in his seven appearances for
the Blues.

Alternatively, Manchester United’s hopes of getting an away goal rest with Wayne Rooney. The ex-Everton striker has hit goal-scoring form just at the right time for the Red Devils. Rooney scored a hat trick in United’s crucial away win over West Ham. His
performance for Sir Alex Ferguson’s team in their two goals to one win over Marseille in the second leg of the round of sixteen in the UEFA Champions League was also very impressive.


Both the teams are quite evenly matched but Manchester United look like a good bet to come away with a draw from Stamford Bridge.
Prediction: 1-1

Leave a Reply