Chelsea and Manchester United United meet Sunday in London at Stamford Bridge in a rematch of the 2008 UEFA Champions League final (TV: Fox Soccer Channel, live, 9 am ET). United, the EPL and
Champions League winner, is off to a slow start in part. It will need a result on Sunday to keep the Blues within its sight. Here's a position-by-position breakdown of the two teams ...
DEFENSE. Manchester United.
Manager Alex Ferguson
's biggest worry is
who to put in the middle of the backline in place of the suspended Nemanja Vidic
. He could use Wes Brown
and put Gary Neville
at right, or he could give 20-year-old Jonny
a start. Whoever plays, Ferguson is confident of one thing, "I am sure we won't be giving goals away like we did last Saturday [2-1 loss to Liverpool] and therefore we go down there
very positive about it." Chelsea.
The Blues got good news -- quite unexpected actually -- when captain
's red card was overturned, making him available on Sunday. A positive for the Blues: the play of Portuguese right back Jose Bosingwa
, an offseason signing. MIDFIELD. Manchester United.
The loss of Michael Carrick
, out for a month with a broken foot, hurts. Paul Scholes
was suspended for the 0-0 tie with Villarreal but
should return against Chelsea. Chelsea.
With the sale of Claude
to Paris St. German and the loss of Michael Essien
for the season with a knee injury, young Nigerian Jon
takes on an important role as Chelsea's holding midfielder. Otherwise, the Blues are deep with the addition of Brazilian playmaker Deco
go along with Frank Lampard
and Michael Ballack
. ATTACK. Manchester United.
The big concern for United is its attack. Its 0-0 tie against Villarreal left it with only four goals in five games. Dimitar Berbatov
has yet to have a major impact since arriving from Spurs. Wayne Rooney
has yet to score this season. The
good news: Cristiano Ronaldo
could make an appearance on Sunday. Chelsea. Nicolas Anelka
was brought in last winter as cover for Didier Drogba
on the assumption that the Ivorian star would be leaving the Blues. Drogba
is still at Chelsea, though a knee injury kept him out of action until last Sunday's Man. City game. In the meantime, Anelka has scored in three of Chelsea's five games.