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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: CHELSEA V MANCHESTER UNITED

TACTICAL BRIEF
The Premier League's top two meet at the Bridge for the second time in four days, but both teams are likely to have very different personnel.

Key battles
Neither manager would have picked the exact same team even before Sunday's bruising (physically and psychologically) encounter in the league, but Roberto Di Matteo now knows red-carded Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres have joined John Terry in being ruled out through suspension.

The Blues were already coping without skipper Terry, and the other two have natural replacements in the dynamic Cesar Azpilicueta at right-back and hungry young striker Danny Sturridge - both arguably worthy of a start in the Premier League anyway.

Of the two the Spaniard, who came on as a sub on Sunday, is the one who may have most to take in tactically. Sir Alex Ferguson's 4-4-1-1 formation at the weekend, with wingers Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young - in his first start for two months - was expressly designed to put his side two-versus-one against the Blues' full-backs. Both their opening goals came from moves down the Chelsea flank, just as the Man United boss would have planned.

Although, even reduced to 10 men, Di Matteo's side then went forward and outplayed United for over an hour, he may recalibrate his three attacking midfielders to provide slightly more defensive cover in those areas.

Some of the 'three musketeers' would have been rested anyway, with Marko Marin (pictured below) returned from injury and needing games, fellow summer-signing Victor Moses pressing for his first action since the 4-0 win away to Nordsjaelland, and Lucas Piazon having impressed in the 6-0 third round thrashing of Wolves.

Marin


Likely left-back Ryan Bertrand also offers a more defence-minded option in left midfield. Oriol Romeu, who opened his Chelsea account from the penalty spot in the win over Wanderers, may step into one of the centre midfield slots.

Given the suspensions and unavailability of Frank Lampard, some Academy youngsters may be rewarded with a place on the bench for the first time.

The Red Devils' 2-1 round three victory over Newcastle United began with just two regular starters in David De Gea and Wayne Rooney. Their back four featured two debutants, full-backs Marnick Vermijl and Scott Wootton, plus centre-backs Alexander Büttner and Michael Keane with two appearances between them. Marin, Moses, Sturridge et al must be confident they can trouble the fledglings more than Ameobi and co. managed.

Ferguson has already admitted he expects another intimidating atmosphere at Stamford Bridge this evening by wishing referee Lee Mason 'good luck'. He may consider this is exactly the kind of test he wants for his young players. Providing, that is, they have a few cool, senior heads in among them.

Squad news
Frank Lampard (calf) and Ashley Cole (ankle) are the only two Chelsea players unavailable through injury. They are joined by suspended trio John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres.

Shinji Kagawa (knee), Chris Smalling (foot), Phil Jones (back and knee) and Nemanja Vidic (knee) are Man United's injured players.


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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: CHELSEA V MANCHESTER UNITED

CHELSEA STATS

Chelsea in the League Cup
Winners: 1965, 1998, 2005, 2007
Runners-up: 1972, 2008
Semi-finalists: 1973, 1985, 1991, 2002


Last 10 seasons in the League Cup
2001/02 - Semi-final
2002/03 - Quarter-final
2003/04 - Quarter-final
2004/05 - Winners
2005/06 - 3rd round
2006/07 - Winners
2007/08 - Runners-up
2008/09 - 4th round
2009/10 - Quarter-final
2010/11 - 3rd round
2011/12 - Quarter-final


Chelsea are competing in the League Cup for the 50th season. Our overall record is played 177, won 88, drawn 40, lost 49, goals 318, goals against 213.

Kerry Dixon is our leading scorer in the League Cup with 25 goals followed by Frank Lampard 11, Peter Osgood and Bobby Tambling 10 and Didier Drogba nine.

Last season the Blues went out of the League Cup at the quarter final stage at Stamford Bridge to Liverpool 0-2.

Chelsea have won three of our last five penalty shoot-outs, the last being at the Allianz Arena in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

Chelsea are looking to avoid a third successive defeat for the first time in over six years.

 

Last six results
Sep 29 Arsenal (a) W 2-1
Oct 2 FC Nordsjaelland (Champions League a) W 4-0
Oct 6 Norwich (h) W 4-1
Oct 20 Tottenham (a) W 4-2
Oct 23 Shakhtar Donetsk (Champions League a) L 1-2
Oct 28 Manchester United (h) L 2-3

 

2012/13 scorers
Mata 7, Torres 6, Cahill 4, Ivanovic 3, Lampard 3 (2 pens), Oscar 3, Bertrand 2, E Hazard 2 (1 pen), Ramires 2, Cole 1, D Luiz 1, Moses 1, Romeu 1 (pen), Sturridge 1. Total 37

Chelsea's next three games
Sat 3 Nov Swansea City away 3pm
Wed 7 Nov Shakhtar Donetsk (CL) home 7.45pm
Sun 11 Nov Liverpool home 4pm



MAN UNITED STATS

Man United in the League Cup
Winners: 1992, 2006, 2009, 2010
Runners-up: 1983, 1991, 1994, 2003
Semi-finalists: 1970, 1971, 1975, 2005


Man United arrive at Stamford Bridge for the second time in three days on the back of five successive wins in all competitions.

Last season Man United went out of the League Cup at the quarter final stage at Old Trafford to Crystal Palace 1-2. The three previous teams to eliminate them from the League Cup were West Ham in 2010/11, Coventry in 2007/08 and Southend in 2006/07.

Man United have won 11 of their last 12 games in all competitions.

They have gone behind in eight of their 13 matches in league and cups and have come back to win in six of them and losing two.

United have won their last five away games in league and cups since they lost at Goodison Park against Everton on the opening day of the season.

They have scored 32 goals in all competitions with 15 different scorers.

Man Utd have lost their last two penalty shoot-outs, to Chelsea in the Community Shield and Everton in the FA Cup semi-final in 2009.


Last 10 seasons in the League Cup
2002/03 - Runners-up
2003/04 - 4th round
2004/05 - Semi-final
2005/06 - Winners
2006/07 - 4th round
2007/08 - 3rd round
2008/09 - Winners
2009/10 - Winners
2010/11 - Quarter-final
2011/12 - Quarter-final


Manager Sir Alex Ferguson
Days in charge: 9,491
Played 1459
Won 870
Drawn 330
Lost 259

 

PMB

 

Last six results
Sep 29 Tottenham (h) L 2-3
Oct 2 CFR Cluj (Champions League a) W 2-1
Oct 7 Newcastle (a) W 3-0
Oct 20 Stoke (h) W 4-2
Oct 23 Braga (Champions League h) W 3-2
Oct 28 Chelsea (a) W 3-2

 

2012/13 scorers
Van Persie 9 (1 pen), Hernández 4, Cleverley 2, Evans 2, Kagawa 2, Rafael 2, Rooney 2, Anderson 1, Büttner 1, Carrick 1, Evra 1, Nani 1, Powell 1, Scholes 1, Welbeck 1, own goals 1. Total 32.


THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Lee Mason is making his second visit to Stamford Bridge this term. He was the official in our Barclays Premier League game with Reading in August.


OTHERWISE ENGAGED
Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres will serve their one-match ban tonight and John Terry the third of four domestic games.

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