When Manchester United heads to Stamford Bridge for a Barclays Premier League tie with Chelsea, the Red Devils will be without the services of summer acquisition Shinji Kagawa, according to ManUtd.com. The knee injury is expected to sideline Kagawa for three to four weeks. The good news for Manchester United is that with the exceptions of Kagawa, Chris Smalling, and Phil Jones, everybody else is pretty much ready to play.
Of course, figuring out who to play, at least up front, could be a bit of trouble for Sir Alex's mind. Wayne Rooney, Chicharito Hernandez, Robin van Persie, and Danny Welbeck are all playing pretty well right now, and choosing who actually gets to play is going to be a bit of a challenge. I would think Rooney and van Persie are definitely going to be part of the squad, and I would not be surprised in Chicharito sneaks in as well considering his two goal performance in the midweek Champions League match against Braga.
Chelsea play a nice control game that is often well paced, which means United can ill afford to spot the home team a one or two goal advantage before clicking into high gear. I believe with all the strikers playing in great form, the Red Devils have as good a chance as any of snapping a string of dreadful results at Stamford Bridge. I think defense will be key, and many times the key to United's defense seems to be their willingness to bring the ball forward. Still, no early goals conceded would do this particular United fan some good, as Chelsea at home would be a difficult come from behind situation (of course, the squad has done it before).
All things considered, Sir Alex has his work cut out for him. Chelsea is always tough at home, but Manchester United is playing well. With any luck the team can get a favorable result and climb a notch higher in the Premier League table. Since United is in neat control of their group in the Champions League, Sir Alex can focus a bit more attention on the domestic affairs.
I think the loss of Kagawa takes a bit of the bite out of the attack, but now would be the time for someone else to step forward and try to make a claim toward a starting spot. So far Kagawa has impressed, I just hope he gets back in three weeks.
Jason Gallagher is a long-time Manchester United fan, following the performances of the Red Devils since the days of Eric Cantona and David Beckham.
- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester United
- Shinji Kagawa
- Barclays Premier League
- Chicharito Hernandez
- Wayne Rooney