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When: Saturday, August 24, 2013
Where: Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England
Last Season: CFC 1-0-1; lost, 3-2, at home (October 28), won, 1-0, at United (May 5)
So if the schedule-maker was kind to the Blues, giving them Hull at home in the opener, was he as equally cruel scheduling Chelsea at defending Premier League champions Manchester United for their first road date in Week 2?
It certainly seems so, celery breath.
The Red Devils only lost three matches at Old Trafford last season in league play—to Tottenham-Hotspur, noisy neighbors Manchester City and to Chelsea—so the Blues won't be able to catch United by surprise in its first home game of the new season and the first one since the retirement of longtime manager and club legend Sir Alex Ferguson.
David Moyes takes over for Ferguson, but expecting a huge drop-off in the Red Devils play would be shortsighted as any roster with players like Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Shinji Kagawa, Javier Hernández, Michael Carrick, Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and David de Gea is a formidable one.
Most Chelsea fans probably think Blues goalkeeper Petr Čech should have been named to the PFA’s first team last season over de Gea, but the 31-year-old Czech veteran will have another chance to show his value again this campaign.
The Blues would likely settle for a draw here at United (28-5-5 last season), but catching the Red Devils off guard at home in their first game of the season at Old Trafford just probably isn't going to happen—although it sounds like a beautiful thing on the first day of July to Chelsea fans.
PREDICTION: Manchester United 2, Chelsea 1