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Man U v Chelsea

PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: MANCHESTER UNITED V CHELSEA

The quest for a top-four finish is down to the last four league games. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton prepare for the first of them, and a second visit to Old Trafford this season…


TALKING POINTS
The government can produce figures at the drop of a hat about GDP dipping over a Bank Holiday, but work time consumed by anxious Londoners trundling through the permutations of the Premier League run-in must amount to the whole capital taking a week's vacation.

After all useful information has been squeezed from the Barclays Premier League table, the fixtures list and statistics sites, there are still the life-sapping predictor apps to feed the habit.

Yet, simply put, with a double-digit lead in goal difference over Spurs, any nine points from the 12 still available should hand Chelsea a top-four finish.

KEY STAT
Manchester United (79) and Chelsea (68) have scored the most goals in the Premier League this season.


Should the Blues beat Tottenham in Wednesday's hugely important game, three points from any of the other three matches - including Man United before then - ought to suffice.

As things stand Chelsea's maximum points haul is now 77. Spurs can reach 74 and Arsenal 73.

The race for the Champions League - Games remaining
Chelsea (4) Arsenal (3) Tottenham (4)
Man Utd (a) QPR (a) Southampton (h)
Tottenham (h) Wigan (h) Chelsea (a)
Aston Villa (a) Newcastle (a) Stoke (a)
Everton (h) Sunderland (h)

 

Maybe you have been setting aside even more time to ponder the sub-plot of whether Frank Lampard can surpass Bobby Tambling's all-time goalscoring record before the season's end.

If so, consider this. Frank has netted 36 goals for Chelsea against the remaining four opponents of our Premier League campaign; that's 18 per cent of his total of 201. The split is: Manchester United six, Everton and Tottenham nine, Aston Villa 12.

Four United players were voted into the PFA's 2012/13 Premier League Team of the Year by fellow pros: De Gea, Ferdinand, Carrick and Van Persie. Chelsea, along with Spurs, had two: Juan Mata and Eden Hazard. Aside from Jan Vertonghen, Hazard was the only Premier League debutant among the 11 selected.

Mata and Hazard


Man United can no longer reach Chelsea's top-flight record of 95 points set in 2004/05; their maximum possible is 94 which would beat their current best of 91 over 38 games with three points for a win.

Never the less they are worthy title winners for 20th time. By coincidence Sunday marks the 23rd anniversary of the last time that once great power, Liverpool, were top-flight champions.

This is our fifth meeting of the season in league and cups with United and so far the Pensioners have won two, drawn one and lost one. Chelsea are unbeaten in the last three games, but in the Premier League Sir Alex Ferguson's side have won three and drawn one of our four most recent meetings.

The three goals against Basel that fired us to the Europa League final took our season's total to just four shy of the club's all-time record, set in the 2009/10 Double season.


Most Chelsea goals in a season
142 in 2009/10
138 in 2012/13
121 in 1964/65
117 in 1960/61 and 2006/07
112 in 2011/12
110 in 2008/09


Most Chelsea games in a season
69 in 2012/13 (played 64 to date)
64 in 2006/07
62 in 2007/08
61 in 1999/00 and 2011/12)
60 in 1965/66



KEY TWEET
Who wins your vote as Chelsea's player of the season? #CFCPMB



Barclays Premier League fixtures

Saturday
Fulham v Reading 3pm
Norwich v Aston Villa 3pm
Swansea v Manchester City 3pm
Tottenham v Southampton 3pm
West Brom v Wigan 3pm
West Ham v Newcastle 3pm
QPR v Arsenal 5.30pm - ESPN
Sunday
Liverpool v Everton 1.30pm - Sky Sports
Manchester United v Chelsea 4pm - Sky Sports
Monday
Sunderland v Stoke 8pm - Sky Sports
Tuesday
Manchester City v West Brom 7.45pm
Wigan v Swansea 7.45pm - Sky Sports

 

Barclays Premier League top half
Top Pld Gd Pts
1 Man Utd 35 +43 85
2 Man City 34 +30 71
3 Chelsea 34 +33 65
4 Arsenal 35 +30 64
5 Tottenham 34 +17 62
6 Everton 35 +14 59
7 Liverpool 35 +25 54
8 West Brom 34 +2 48
9 Swansea 34 -1 42
10 West Ham 35 -8 42

 

The race for the Premier League Golden Boot
Robin van Persie 25
Luis Suarez 23
Gareth Bale 19
Christian Benteke 18
Michu 17
Demba Ba 15
Rickie Lambert 14
Romelu Lukaku 14
Dimitar Berbatov 13
Frank Lampard 13


The race for the Premier League Golden Glove
Joe Har t15
Petr Cech 13
Asmir Begovic 12
Pepe Reina 12

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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: MANCHESTER UNITED V CHELSEA

WE HAVE HISTORY
The guard of honour for the Red Devils fulfilled last week by Arsenal will have reminded some people of the recent occasions Man United and Chelsea accorded each other the same respect.

José Mourinho's Chelsea marched out at Old Trafford in May 2005 to two lines of applauding United players and officials, Gary Neville performing the task with all the alacrity of a condemned man.

Neville's face seemed to resonate the maxim of Sir Alex Ferguson that the guard of honour should serve as a reminder that losing should hurt.

Man U v Chelsea

 

Ferguson was, yet again, treading in the footprints of his illustrious forebear, Sir Matt Busby. Fifty years earlier Sir Matt, who guested several times for the Blues during World War Two, and Old Trafford club secretary Walter Crickmer had been effusive in their praise of Ted Drake's newly crowned league winners.

'Hail the champions!,' wrote Busby in his matchday programme column. 'To Ted Drake, my old friend, and his team, I offer my heartfelt congratulations.'

The Guardian reported that on the day, just before the 'ceremonial welcome,' Crickmer 'addressed the crowd on the implications of Chelsea's rise to prominence, respectability and - if one may say so without offence - comparative state of grace.

'His call for a thunderous welcome seemed unnecessary. Chelsea's age-long popularity in Manchester had already guaranteed that.

'Soon the Manchester United players came out and arranged themselves on each side of the tunnel … manager Busby waited bare-headed and near him United's leading camp-follower, tastefully attired in red hunting coat, white flannel trousers, red and white bowler, and protected from the spring sun by the bare ribs of a coverless umbrella.

'As the band conductor's arm came down for a crashing opening chord [Roy] Bentley and his fellow champions appeared, flushed a little but grinning broadly, and obviously touched by the warmth of the welcome.'

When, after back-to-back wins for the Blues, United regained the title in May 2007, it was Chelsea's turn to clap and bear it at the Bridge.

Tradition demands the ceremony only happens in the next away game of the season, should there be one. There is no obligation after that.

Our last league win against the Red Devils came at Stamford Bridge in March 2011. Wayne Rooney opened the scoring after half an hour but second-half goals by David Luiz and a Frank Lampard penalty secured all three points.

Since our last win at Old Trafford in March 2010, United have won three and drawn one of our meetings there.

Our last 10 Premier League games against Man Utd at Old Trafford
2002/03 - Man Utd won 2-1
2003/04 - Drew 1-1
2004/05 - Chelsea won 3-1
2005/06 - Man Utd won 1-0
2006/07 - Drew 1-1
2007/08 - Man Utd won 2-0
2008/09 - Man Utd won 3-0
2009/10 - Chelsea won 2-1
2010/11 - Man Utd won 2-1
2011/12 - Man Utd won 3-1

LAST SEASON'S CORRESPONDING MATCH
Manchester United 3-1 Chelsea
Barclays Premier League, Sunday 18 September 2011
Manchester Utd
Manager
Sir Alex Ferguson
De Gea; Smalling, Jones, Evans, Evra (c); Fletcher, Anderson; Nani, Rooney, Young; Hernández.
Substitutes Carrick for Anderson (62), Valencia for Smalling (62), Berbatov for Hernández (78)
Scorers Smalling (7), Nani (36), Rooney (44)
Booked Valencia, Fletcher
Chelsea
Manager
Andre Villas-Boas
Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry (c), Cole; Ramires, Meireles, Lampard; Sturridge, Torres, Mata.
Substitutes Anelka for Lampard (h/t), Lukaku for Sturridge (67), Mikel for Meireles (78)
Scorer Torres (46)
Booked Ramires, Terry, Cole
Ref Phil Dowd
Attendance 75,455


Other fixtures this season
28 October 2012 Barclays Premier League
Chelsea..……..….…2 Man Utd….……..……3
Mata 43                         D Luiz og 3
Ramires 53                  Van Persie 12
                                        Hernandez 75
                 Att: 41,644


31 October 2012 Capital One Cup fourth round
Chelsea..……..….…5 Man Utd….……..……4
D Luiz pen 31               Giggs 21
Cahill 52                        Hernández 43
Hazard pen 90+4         Nani 58
Sturridge 97                  Giggs pen 120
                                        Ramires 115
                Att: 41,126


10 March 2013 FA Cup quarter-final
Man Utd..…..….…2 Chelsea…….……..…2
Hernandez 4            Hazard 58
Rooney 10                Ramires 67
                Att: 75,196


1 April 2013 FA Cup quarter-final replay
Chelsea..……..….…1 Man Utd….……..……0
Ba 48
                 Att: 40,704


Chelsea v Manchester United in all competitions
Games played 167
Chelsea wins 46
Man United wins 72
Draws 49


Head to head in the League at Manchester United
Games played 70
Chelsea wins 18
United wins 29
Draws 23


Biggest league win at Man Utd for each team
Man Utd 6-0 Chelsea - 26/12/1960
Man Utd 0-4 Chelsea - 24/08/1968


DAYS SINCE
Chelsea won at Old Trafford: 1,128
United failed to score at home in the league: 1,240
Liverpool won the league: 8,401
Arsenal won a trophy: 2,906

Visit again tomorrow for Part Two of the Briefing.

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