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Royal rumble at Stamford Bridge

Posted by By COSMAS OMEGOH on 2008/04/25 | Views: 927 |

Royal rumble at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea and Manchester United are at each otherís throat at Stamford Bridge looking for vital points to lift the seasonís trophy. It promises to be a thriller!

* Chelsea, Man U in decisive clash

Chelsea and Manchester United are at each otherís throat at Stamford Bridge looking for vital points to lift the seasonís trophy. It promises to be a thriller!
With three more games before the curtain finally falls on the season, this is one tie that is every inch titanic as the winner would only be a touching distance from the trophy.

Defending champions and league leaders, Manchester United have 81 points. Chelsea, second on the table, are hot on their heels, trailing with three points. If United win, they would open a six-point lead. Then they will return to Old Trafford and prepare to bury West Ham next weekend.

If Chelsea win, they would be at par with United, then the head-to-head or the goals difference rules would decide who go on top.
This afternoonís encounter is one not even the ablest soothsayer can predict rightly where the pendulum will swing next. Both sides are looking equally matched, and are prepared to stake their lives to claim victory.

United appear to be playing at full strength at the moment. Since they got humbled 1-0 by Portsmouth on March 8 in the quarter final of FA Cup they have not dropped a match. They are enjoying a 10 game unbeaten run. Seven of those games ended in victory for the Red Devils. Last Wednesday night, they played out a scoreless draw at Barcelona in the semi-final first leg game of the UEFA Champions League. That was a game they could have taken but for Cristiano Ronaldoís penalty loss. They kept their title hunt on course last weekend with a 1-1 draw at Blackburn, thanks to Carlose Tevezís late minute equalizer.

This afternoon, old fox, Sir Alex Ferguson looks up to his wonder boy Ronaldo. The lad is unarguably the best performing player around the world at the moment. He may be the one to bury Chelsea. His partnership with Tevez and Wayne Rooney will be an intimidating profile Chelsea will have to contend with.

They will keep the pressure on the Blues while keeping their back tight.
Chelseaís manager, Avran Grantís coaching mentality would be stretched to the limit while this encounter lasts. His Ivorien star, Didier Drogba has not been scoring lately. But Michael Essienís scoring prowess is on the rise again. He scored in their 1-1 draw with Wigan at the Bridge a fortnight ago.

He gave Chelsea the victory in their 1-0 defeat of Everton at Goodison Park last weekend. Last Tuesday night, they earned an away point at Liverpool, thanks to John Arne Riiseís late minute own goal. If they truly desire victory against United this afternoon, they must score.

Their first stanza encounter on September 23 last year at Old Trafford ended 2-0 in favour of United, with Tevez and Louis Saha providing the goals. Before that, they had played a 1-1 draw at the Bridge in the FA Community Shield. That means that United is capable of running away with a surprise victory. But would Chelsea let this happen?

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