Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Of Reds and Blues

News out of the UK seem to indicate that Ferdinand will not be in the team to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. It's a pity. I think every MU fan will have wanted Rio there.

No matter. Smalling has been proving quite the capable replacement. He's no Ferdinand, mind you, but he is quite steady and he's not even the finished product yet.

Expect Vidic to have another fantastic game today. Some say he seems to find Torres a handful, but I think he's playing better than ever this year and won't be making the same mistakes against the "newly-Blue" Spaniard.

By far the most welcome news was that Rooney will not be banned despite calls from everyone who is not a member of the MU set-up. Quite frankly I believe Rooney should have been yellow-carded, but not sent off. I've watched the replays time and again and I still think Rooney was merely trying to shove James McCarthy out of the way and didn't intend to elbow him. For that matter, it wasn't even an elbow, but the forearm which connected with McCarthy.

I also think that if Rooney hadn't made contact with McCarthy with his arm, the foul should have gone against the Wigan player. McCarthy stepped into the way of Rooney as the latter was running towards the ball, and since this is off the ball, it is clear obstruction.

But that's just my opinion. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm right.

Anyway, it's still unclear if Giggs will be available for this one, but others like Valencia, Anderson and Owen are still out.

I have to say that if Chelsea want a result against United, they should leave Torres on the bench and start with their old forward line. I think Torres hasn't settled in yet with the Blues and should be given more time. There is also that 50 million pound sterling price tag hanging over his head which is probably causing him more pressure.

Chelsea should definitely leave him out for the big matches until he can fit in. Playing him against smaller teams would give him a better chance of scoring and this, in turn, will lead to greater confidence.

Whatever the line-ups for both teams, this will be a pulsating game. I think MU will come away from Stamford Bridge with at least a point, if not all three. The latter would seem more likely.

My Crystal Ball says: Chelsea 0 Manchester United 1

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