Chelsea vs Man Utd FACE OFF!
Mon, Nov 09, 2009
The New Paper


    THEY form one of the most feared strike partnerships in the Premiership.

    And they are one of the most lethal as well. Together, Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka account for 12 of Chelsea's 28 league goals so far.

    Some call it the perfect union, Drogba providing the power and Anelka the finesse.

    The New Paper's football analyst Tohari Paijan said: 'It is the presence of Anelka which makes Drogba play even better.

    'Anelka's the decoy, using his pace and quick changes in direction to pull defenders all the over place.

    'As a result, Drogba has more space to work with.'

    The duo could be coming up directly against Manchester United's Jonny Evans and Wes Brown, both of whom could be starting the match as Rio Ferdinand is confirmed injured and out while Nemanja Vidic has been passed fit.

    Their performance in the 3-3 draw against CSKA Moscow last Tuesday was far from convincing.

    Many felt a couple of the those goals conceded could have been prevented had the two been more alert.

    Tohari is fearing the worst for the Man United's makeshift central defence.


    If there is one area which Evans, Brown or Vidic, have to watch out for, it is Chelsea's aerial attacks.

    He said: 'If they can concede three goals at home to CSKA Moscow, then how are they going to stop Chelsea at Stamford Bridge?

    'Drogba has great physical strength and will be a handful. Another weapon he and Anelka have is their ability in the air.

    'This is where Evans and Brown look particularly vulnerable.'

    Yet, Evans and Brown's biggest enemy is the lack of understanding on the field, as they are still not used to playing with each other.

    At the same time, the defence has been lacking a proper leader. Said Tohari: 'I can see the Man United defence going through a tough time at Stamford Bridge.'


    IT IS imperative that Ryan Giggs recovers from his injury in time to face Chelsea.

    The departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez has shorn Man United of their creativity, and Giggs is one of the few United midfielders remaining who can make things happen.

    Man United often impress with Giggs in the side, as he links up well with the mobile attacking duo of Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov.

    The New Paper's football analyst Tohari Paijan said: 'Giggs is a special player. He can find openings from the slightest of gaps.

    'When he surges forward to join Rooney and Berbatov, Man United are quite an irresistible force. And don't forget his theat from set-piece situations, too.'

    Chelsea are likely to turn to Michael Essien to contain the Welshman.

    The shining example of what a modern midfielder should be, Essien is without doubt one of the most effective players in the Premiership.

    His is an arduous job at Chelsea.

    As the only defensive element in the Blues' midfield diamond, he covers the gaps left behind by three midfielders.

    Yet, he also finds strength to pop up at the opponents' end of the field to lend support to the attack.

    It's a tough act to juggle.

    Said Tohari: 'Essien is so dynamic.

    'He's tactically disciplined, and he doesn't wander off from his defensive post unnecessarily.

    'He can cope with Giggs or any of the Man United midfielders.

    'But it's also important that his other three midfielders offer him assistance in his defensive duties when required to.'


    IT'S HARD to say for sure who Sir Alex Ferguson will pick for his attacking line-up, given the injury problems.

    But if he has a choice, he will look no further than Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov.

    Rooney appears to be enjoying his new role as out-and-out striker, where he is given more licence to attack than in previous seasons.

    With seven goals from 10 Premiership games, he seems more confident in front of goal than ever before.

    The improvement of Berbatov's form must have helped.

    While still frustratingly inconsistent, he has had his moments this season, such as when he scored those spectacular goals against Sunderland and Blackburn.

    The New Paper's football analyst Tohari Paijan feels that Rooney performs best when Berbatov is on song.

    He said: 'Berbatov is the brains of the attack.

    'He is extremely intelligent, someone who knows when to release the ball or hold up play.

    'Only problem is, his performance depends on his mood.'

    Chelsea's central defence of John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho must be already anticipating a busy night.

    One hallmark of the Rooney-Berbatov pairing is their regular swapping of positions during a game.

    Said Tohari: 'The roles of target man and support striker for the two are changed all the time.

    'It's confusing for defenders.


    'Rooney's mobility is a big asset, because he even ventures down to the flanks to give pressure to the full-backs.'

    Yet, in Terry and Carvalho, the Blues have one of the most reliable central defences in the country. This is why Chelsea have the tightest defence in the Premiership - they let in just eight goals in 11 matches.

    Tohari said: 'They are one of the best pairings in the business.

    'And they have been playing together for a few years now, since Jose Mourinho's League title-winning days (2005 and 2006).

    'Terry is excellent in the air, while Carvalho impresses with his agility.

    'It will be a terrific battle between the Chelsea centre-backs and the Man United strikers.'


    FRANK Lampard is a manager's dream.

    He delivers the goods consistently, seldom gets injured, and scores goals by the truckloads.

    Andy Roxburgh, former Scotland manager and the Uefa technical director, once said that the innate skills which star players such as Lampard have, is almost impossible to teach.

    What Lampard is best at is running into the penalty undetected.

    His sense of timing and positioning is often immaculate.

    Said The New Paper's football analyst Tohari Paijan: 'Lampard is one of the most difficult players to play against.

    'He is so hard to track. The moment you think he is running in this direction, you find him next, going on your blind side.'

    It is crucial that Man United deploy someone specifically to thwart the Chelsea midfield threat led by Lampard.

    That man could be Darren Fletcher, Sir Alex Ferguson's top choice for the big occasion.


    The tough-tackling and tireless midfield worker is Man United's best defensive midfielder at the moment, according to Tohari.

    He said: 'Fletcher is like Roy Keane or Nicky Butt. He is good at slowing down opponents' attacks.

    'His biggest task is to check Lampard's late runs into the box.'


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