Moyes takes on Jose in Old Trafford debut
Posted Monday, August 26 2013 at 01:00
London- Man United manager David Moyes will take charge of his first home Premier League fixture at Old Trafford against Chelsea tonight.
Moyes saw his side post an excellent 4-1 win on the opening day of the season at Swansea City last weekend, with Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck scoring doubles for the Premier League champions.
But they are likely to face a sterner test against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, who started their campaign with consecutive home wins against Hull City and Aston Villa.
Since being confirmed as Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor, Moyes has had to wait more than 100 days for his first competitive fixture in front of the club’s supporters.
And although it is a match United will enter without a significant close-season signing – something they have been pursuing strongly – Moyes is still excited.
He said: “There have been a lot of things I have been looking forward to – like taking the team on tour and leading them out at Wembley.
“But to do it at Old Trafford for the first game against Chelsea is a thrill for me, it really is.” With both sides set to seriously challenge for the Premier League title, the fixture will have plenty riding on it, with neither camp willing to concede early ground to their rivals. An intriguing sub-plot is the future of want-away Man United forward Wayne Rooney. Rooney has submitted two transfer requests in the last three years and is a transfer target for Chelsea, who have had tfo formal bids turned down by United. Mourinho claimed Chelsea would not renew their interest until after the match had finished, in the interests of being professional and respectful.
Moyes has repeatedly said Rooney is not for sale and revealed he may start against Mourinho’s men. “Wayne’s got a good chance of playing. He has [a] good chance of starting [also],” Moyes said.
Chelsea could consider themselves fortunate to have defeated Villa 2-1 on Wednesday, with defender Branislav Ivanovic – who headed the winner with 17 minutes remaining – only given a yellow card after catching Christian Benteke with an elbow.
The Blues have not lost in their last 10 Premier League fixtures - a run that included a 1-0 win at Old Trafford in May.
While United’s home Premier League record is simply outstanding – they have won 51 of their last 59 home matches, losing just five – two of those defeats came against Chelsea.
Manchester united v chelsea facts
Van Persie has now scored nine goals in his last eight Premier League appearances.
Chelsea could become the first team ever to win two EPL games at OT in a calendar year.
United have suffered 14 League defeats against Chelsea; more than against any other side.
The Red Devils’ win percentage against Chelsea in the Premier League is just 31%; their lowest figure against an opponent in the competition.
These two sides met five times in 2012/13 in all competitions, with Chelsea prevailing three times and losing just once.
Javier Hernandez has scored in six of his last nine appearances against Chelsea in all competitions.
Jose has lost just two of his seven competitive games as a manager at OT (W3 D2 L2).
Chelsea have scored in all but one of their last 17 Premier League away matches.
Juan Mata has scored in each of the last three Barclays Premier League games between Chelsea and Manchester United.