The first game of the season against Swansea City served to offer some proof that this is still a strong Manchester United team, capable of winning trophies in the face of the momentous changes happening at the club. The performance was exactly what David Moyes needed to start the Premier League campaign. This week is the first home game of the season, and it will come against one of the biggest challengers for United’s crown, Chelsea.
The starting 11 for this clash with Chelsea will likely be similar to the starting 11 that were chosen against Swansea, and against Wigan in the Community Shield. This formation of 4-4-1-1 seems to be one that Moyes prefers, using it through the pre-season up to the Swansea match last week.
At the back it will likely be the usual suspects of De Gea in goal, then Evra, Vidic and Ferdinand taking up their normal positions in the defence. Similar to the Swansea game, Jones should take up the right back role in the absence of Rafael. The extent of Rafael’s injury was confirmed in the Friday press conference when David Moyes told reporters, “Rafa picked up an injury in the Community Shield game so we’ve lost him for three or four weeks”.
This wasn’t the only injury update, Moyes went on to say that, “We have one or two coming back from injury – the likes of Nani, Ashley Young and Chicharito”. This is good news for the manager giving him options in the coming weeks but it means they will not be fit and available for selection this Monday for the visit of Chelsea.
The midfield is expected to line up like last week with Antonio Valencia, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, and Danny Welbeck taking their places. The dangers of the Chelsea attack from Mata, Hazard, Oscar and Lampard will mean that midfield will be one of the key areas on Monday night. The battle is likely to be a tough one in the centre of the park and one that will probably drag the second striker back into the fray.
Moyes has been quoted as saying, “Wayne has recovered and has a good chance of starting”. If Rooney is fit then it really means there isn’t a question about it, he should start. Even with Rooney’s reported disappointment at not being granted a transfer he was still able to make a big impact against Swansea last week, being influential in two of the goals. The other options for Moyes in this position will be Giggs and Kagawa. If Rooney does start then after only playing 30 minutes last week it would be surprising if Rooney was able to complete the full 90.
Up front there isn’t any debate, Robin Van Persie will take his normal position leading the line. Chelsea have recently being starting with Terry and Cahill in the centre of defence, a partnership that I’m sure Van Persie will be thinking he can gain some joy from.
Predicted Manchester United Line-Up:
This match will be drastically different to the opener against Swansea. Chelsea offer a much sterner test for the new manager but if he is to be a success at Manchester United, these are tests he will have to get used to passing.
What do you think the score be against Chelsea? Comment in the section below.