Chelsea vs. Manchester United: Top-Ranked Blues Will Struggle to Silence Devils

Steven GerwelContributor IIIOctober 27, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06:  John Terry of Chelsea in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Norwich City at Stamford Bridge on October 6, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Chelsea F.C. is currently the top-ranked team in the Premier League standings with a 7-1-0 record and a perfect 4-0-0 record at home. 

The Blues came up with a 2-1 victory over Arsenal on September 29, while they also defeated Tottenham by a score of 4-2 on October 20, proving that they can hold their own against some of the better teams in the Premier League. 

Now, Chelsea will be forced to undergo a complete gut check as they play host to Manchester United, which presents the Blues with their biggest challenge so far this season. 

Manchester United is currently ranked third the Premier League standings with a 6-0-2 record. 

The match could have long-term implications on the remainder of the season for both clubs.

Though Chelsea is on top at the moment, they still have a long way to go before proving that they're the best in the league. 

Since the 2010-2011 season, Chelsea is a modest 1-1-2 against Manchester United and will once again be challenged. 


What to Watch For

The Blues have had considerable success this season thanks to extremely solid defensive play. 

Chelsea has already forced four shutouts in just eight Premier League matches, and they'll look to build on that defensive dominance with another solid outing against the Red Devils. 

Unfortunately for Chelsea, one of their key defensive pieces—team captain John Terry—will be absent from the game, as he received a four-game suspension for comments that were viewed as racist (according to the The New York Times). 

Terry's absence will be difficult to overcome, but the Blues are hoping the presence of another vital defensive asset—goalkeeper Petr Cech—will help keep the defense intact. 

So far this season, the 30-year-old Cech has been very solid for Chelsea. 

28 - Petr Cech has made 28 saves in the PL this season, conceding just 6 goals & helping the club to 4 clean sheets in the process. #CFC

— Chelsea Statto (@ChelseaStatto) October 24, 2012

The only question is whether or not Cech will be able to perform at the same impressive level without the support of Terry. 

The Red Devils will use their potent offensive attack in order to put Chelsea's defense to the test. 

With weapons such as Wayne Rooney, who has two goals and four assists in five matches, the Red Devils have the capabilities to make the Blues pay.