English Premier League: Manchester United in search of old fire

Red Devils out to prove credentials against title rivals Chelsea today.

Agencies January 18, 2014
Chelsea will be looking to win at home to move themselves 12 points clear of United in the league table. PHOTO: AFP


Manchester United’s trip to Chelsea on Sunday represents another opportunity for the woebegone English champions to prove that they still deserve to be considered among the Premier League’s leading lights.

With six defeats to their name already this season, United’s title defence seems all but over and they face a battle just to secure Champions League qualification.

Injuries to strike pair Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie have only compounded matters, but for all United’s misfortune, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes it is still too soon to write them off.

“On many occasions the team that looks to be in the most difficult situation is the team that appears stronger in that match,” said Mourinho.

“That’s why I view this game as especially dangerous. I’ve not written United off.”

United can at least draw solace from a run of five wins in six league games, but Chelsea’s recent form has been even more impressive.

They have climbed to third place in the table, nine points above United, by winning eight of their last 10 matches and will be bidding for a fifth consecutive victory on Sunday.

The teams played out a terse 0-0 at Old Trafford when they last met in August, but Moyes said it was hard to draw conclusions from that encounter.

“That was a difficult game for both of us that probably came a bit too early in the season,” said Moyes.

“We know this is going to be hard because Chelsea are very strong at home. As you would expect, they have made a strong start to the season.”

De Bruyne leaves Chelsea for Wolfsburg

VfL Wolfsburg have completed the signing of talented winger Kevin de Bruyne from Chelsea with the Belgian agreeing to a five-year contract, said the Bundesliga club on Saturday.

“For me it was clear that Wolfsburg was my first contact point if Chelsea let me move,” De said Bruyne of a move reportedly costing around €20 million.

Neither club released any financial details of the transfer, although Chelsea were keen to recover funds after paying a reported £21 million for Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic from Benfica on Wednesday.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 19th, 2014.

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