Ashley Cole should return to his usual left-back spot after missing Thursday night’s Europa League semi-final second leg win over FC Basel. Demba Ba, who can’t play in Europe as he’s cup-tied, is also likely to feature for the Blues.
Manchester United will be without Danny ‘two goals’ Welbeck as the striker has not recovered from a knee injury. But Paul Scholes may return after a lengthy four month lay-off with his own knee problem.
The Red Devils haven’t got much to play for other than pride in this one as they have already won the Premier League at a canter but cannot break Chelsea’s total points record after they failed to defeat Arsenal last weekend, but I’d expect a professional approach from a Sir Alex Ferguson team and there’s no way they are going to be an easy touch just because it’s effectively end-of-season for them.
Manchester United and Chelsea have played each other 41 times in the Premier League, both sides have won 13 each and played out 15 draws. The Blues have beaten United (13) and scored more goals (55) against them than any other side in the division.
It’s going to be tough to achieve all three points tomorrow as Sir Alex’s side have won 13 out of their last 14 home games, can we do it?
My Chelsea XI:
C. Azpilicueta – G. Cahill – J. Terry (c) – A. Cole
D. Luiz – Ramires
Oscar – J. Mata – E. Hazard
John Terry didn’t play any part of Thursday so should be fresh for this one and it’s going to be tense for Chelsea, so his leadership could prove invaluable and I would partner him alongside Gary Cahill as Branislav Ivanovic is too easily caught out when he neglects the space behind him, which United’s intelligent attacking players will look to exploit.
I still see David Luiz’s long-term future as a defender but he’s currently enjoying a purple patch in midfield and I don’t see any reason to change that for the moment. He can, as we all know, be a little over-exuberant so Ramires will have to mop up for him and there’s no-one that does as much running for the team as he does.
Juan Mata was rested for most of the match against FC Basel so should be in good shape for tomorrow. Both the Spaniard and Eden Hazard are out biggest threats and will cause United problems, especially as they’re a little light in the middle of the park aside from Michael Carrick, we just have to move the ball quickly.
I’d go for Ba at centre forward from the start as he’s freshest and gave Rio Ferdinand nightmares not so long ago. Fernando Torres is also a much better impact player than Ba is, so could go two up top in the case of an emergency.
Who would be in your Chelsea XI v Manchester United?