David Moyes and Jose Mourinho both made strong statements tonight about how they regard the future of key players at their respective clubs with two line-ups that caused jaws to drop around Old Trafford ahead of the Premier League clash between Manchester United and Chelsea.
Moyes selected Wayne Rooney, the striker who has asked for a move to Chelsea all summer in his team. Mourinho selected a side without any recognised striker, both Fernando Torres and Romelu Lukaku were left on the bench. Demba Ba did not even travel with the squad.
In the early Chelsea formations given to broadcasters, Mourinho appears to have selected Eden Hazard as a central striker with Kevin De Bruyne and Andre Schurrle either side of him. It is another huge blow to the confidence of Torres, about whom Mourinho has had very little positive to say over the summer. It would now look very likely that either Ba or Torres, or perhaps both, will leave in this window or the next. The club are in talks with Samuel Eto’o of Anzhi Makhachkala.
Juan Mata was also not selected in the Chelsea side. Twice voted the club’s player of the year, he was named on the bench with Torres and Lukaku.
United team tonight: De Gea; Jones, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra; Carrick, Cleverley; Valencia, Rooney, Welbeck; Van Persie.
Chelsea’s formation was given as 4-2-1-3: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole; Lampard, Ramires; Oscar; De Bruyne, Hazard, Schurrle.