Chelsea vs. Manchester United: Complete Preview, Team News, Predicted Lineups

Rachel Bascom@@Rachel_BascomContributor IIIOctober 26, 2012

Chelsea vs. Manchester United: Complete Preview, Team News, Predicted Lineups

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    Whenever Chelsea and Manchester United meet, you can expect there to be fireworks.

    As if it wasn't enough that these are the top two teams in the EPL right now, extra spice has been added to the mixture over John Terry's racism trial and its aftermath.

    The four-game ban handed to Terry means that he will miss this Sunday's showdown at Stamford Bridge, but the recent history between Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole should be more than enough to add to the heat between the sides.

    As it should though, football will take the spotlight this Sunday.

    Both teams have endured mixed fortunes in recent weeks.

    United picked themselves back up after a disappointing 3-2 loss to Tottenham Hotspur, with a run of wins in both the EPL and the Champions League.

    Chelsea are still undefeated in the league, but will have to recoup quickly after a loss on the road to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League this week.

    Both teams exhibit an exciting array of attacking talent and perhaps some suspect defending, meaning the goal count should be high and the match thrilling.

The Details

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    Chelsea FC vs. Manchester United FC

    Date: Sunday, Oct. 28

    Location: Stamford Bridge, London

    Competition: English Premier League

    Time: 1600 GMT/1200 ET

    Television: Fox Soccer Channel (US), Sky Sports 1 (UK)

    Chelsea EPL Form: DWWWW

    Manchester United EPL Form: WWLWW

Chelsea Team News

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    Injuries: Frank Lampard, calf

    Suspensions: John Terry, second of four games

    Chelsea will be without captain John Terry on Sunday as he sits out the second match of his four-game ban.

    Lampard could possibly pull through his calf injury, but Roberto Di Matteo is unlikely to risk starting him.

    In Terry's absence, Gary Cahill will start in central defense with David Luiz, with Petr Cech filling in as captain.

    Even if he was fully fit, Lampard would probably have sat out this game, with Di Matteo tending to favor John Obi Mikel and Ramires in the two deeper-lying midfield slots.

    In light of the Blues' loss to Shakhtar Donetsk midweek, it will be interesting to see if Di Matteo decides to make a few more changes to the team.

    Will Daniel Sturridge get a look?

Manchester United Team News

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    Injuries: Phil Jones, knee; Chris Smalling, metatarsal; Shinji Kagawa, knee; Nemanja Vidic, knee.

    Sir Alex Ferguson is left with a happy selection dilemma after Javier Hernandez's performance against Braga midweek.

    Despite Hernadez's brace however, the Scot may still opt for Danny Welbeck to start ahead of the Mexican against Chelsea.

    Though Ferguson has said that Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have resumed light training, it is unlikely that either player will feature in Sunday's match.

    Kagawa is also a doubt after suffering a knee injury during the match on Tuesday.

    Both Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand will return to the starting lineup after being rested for the game against Braga.

Predicted Lineups

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    Chelsea (possible, 4-2-3-1): Cech; Cole, Cahill, Luiz, Ivanovic; Mikel, Ramires; Mata, Hazard, Oscar; Torres.

    Manchester United (possible, 4-3-3): De Gea; Evra, Ferdinand, Evans, Rafael; Scholes, Valencia Carrick; van Persie, Rooney, Welbeck.