Chelsea might have qualified for their second European final in space of 12 months but to qualify for next year’s champions league is perhaps more significant. Spurs and Arsenal did win their respective matches yesterday and have put Chelsea under pressure who are to face the champions Manchester United at Old Trafford today.
Arsenal currently occupy third place, two points ahead of Chelsea but have played two more games. Spurs are level on points with Chelsea having played a game more and only behind because of goal difference. A win for Manchester United will help both North London arch rivals in the race to qualify for the Champions League.
Benitez’s men have recently defeated Manchester United in the FA Cup but the home side surely holds stronger cards at Old Trafford.
Chelsea have not won away against Ferguson’s side since the year they last won the premier league title under the management of Carlo Ancelotti. Although a controversial goal from Drogba helped them that day.
Talking about controversies then Chelsea have also been on the receiving end in these fixtures as well. Not to forget, Howard Webb is in charge of today’s game and the last time he refereed a game between these two sides, United were awarded two penalties to come back from a 3 goal deficit and draw level.
Adding to that, United did beat Chelsea at Stamford after 10 long years and again they needed some help from the linesman to finish off 9 men. Striker Javier Hernandez was clearly offside when he tapped the ball in the net to give United all three points in 3-2 victory.
The last time Rafael Benitez managed a league game at Old Trafford, the Red Devils defeated Liverpool 2-1 on the day. United may have sealed their 20th premier league title but do not expect them to put their foot off the gas when they come face to face against one of their closest rivals.
David Luiz is in red hot form for Chelsea and he alongside Mata and Hazard will be the key to beat Manchester United. The blues will continue their hectic schedule after this game as they have to face Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday as well. That game may as well be a potential decider of the top 4 race. Therefore, a win today will do Chelsea the world of good but that is only easier said than done.
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