Chelsea v Manchester United: David Moyes will have to break two long-standing records if he is to taste victory at Stamford Bridge
Moyes has never won at Arsenal, Chelsea or Liverpool in his 12 year's of Premier League management while Jose Mourinho is yet to taste defeat when playing at home in the league
Friday 17 January 2014
David Moyes will be desperate to see a turnaround in his side’s fortunes when Manchester United travel to Chelsea on Sunday, knowing that he could put an end to two long-standing records with a victory over Jose Mourinho and his team.
Despite 12 years of managing in the Premier League, Moyes is yet to win when on his travels to Arsenal, Liverpool or indeed Chelsea. United were also placed in that category until he was selected to replace the retired Sir Alex Ferguson – if you can’t beat them, join them – and he heads into the match knowing that anything but a victory would put a dent in their attempts to secure a top four finish.
Victory would move his side to within six points of the Blues, but that’s easier said than done when it comes to defeating Mourinho at Stamford Bridge. The Portuguese remains unbeaten at home in the Premier, a record that stretches back to August 15 when he took charge of his first match with the Blues and secured a 1-0 victory against – you guessed it – Manchester United.
The odds are firmly stacked against a United win, given that they will head into the match without both of their leading strikers. Wayne Rooney, having returned on Thursday from a warm-weather recovery break in Egypt, is unavailable as continues his rehabilitation from a groin strain, while Robin van Persie is still struggling with a thigh injury and has not been considered for the trip to London.
Chelsea meanwhile look to be pressing on with their ambitions of lifting the Premier League trophy in May. Strikers Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o have shown signs that they are beginning to move past their early season struggles in front of goal, while Eden Hazard has flourished since Mourinho returned to the club.
The Belgian has hit eight of his 11 goals this season in the league, and has taken over from teammate Oscar as the shining star at Stamford Bridge following the Brazilian’s good start to the campaign. With Willian joining the two in an attacking midfielder trio, they could pose the United defence a lot more problems than they did in the 0-0 draw the last time these two sides met in late August.
Unfortunately for Moyes, the stats favour the Blues as well. Both clubs have a win percentage of 90 per cent when they take the lead first, with Chelsea fighting back to claim more points from a losing position than any other side in the league – 52 per cent of the time.
United have also only beaten two sides in the top ten so far this season, with one of those being 10th placed Hull City on Boxing Day. However, the other is league leaders Arsenal, and they have shown that on their day they remain capable of beating anyone when everything clicks. The problem remains that Moyes hasn’t quite worked out how to get it to click every time.
Match Stats (courtesy of PA)
There could be an early goal. Both clubs have conceded 21 per cent of goals in the opening 15 minutes of matches, a higher proportion than anyone except Southampton.
Whoever scores first stands a good chance of holding on for the win, as both have taken 90 per cent of possible points from winning positions. However Chelsea are this season's comeback kings, having recovered more points from losing positions than any other side (52 per cent)
Manchester United have been better on the road than at home this season, scoring an average of 2.1 goals per away match. That is a higher rate than any side except Liverpool.
However, Chelsea are unbeaten at home - the only team except Manchester City yet to taste defeat at their own ground in the Premier League this season.
United have struggled against the stronger sides this season. They have won only two of their 10 matches against teams currently in the top half of the table (and one of those was Hull in 10th).
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