Manchester United vs. Chelsea FC: 10 Predictions for Sunday's Match
Manchester United have flown out of the gates and are currently exhibiting the type of performances that would make them worth of winning their 20th league title.
But the season is far from over, and Chelsea will want to make a point that the title race should not only be considered between United and City.
Currently two points behind City and United, Chelsea have the opportunity to leapfrog into first place should they beat United at Old Trafford.
For that to happen, some of these predictions will have to go in Chelsea's favor. Will they?
Hernandez Will Find the Back of the Net
Scoring twice in his first full game for United against Bolton, Javier Hernandez appears to be picking up from where he left off last season.
The "Little Pea" is familiar with the back of Chelsea's net, having scored already three times against the club in his first year.
Expect Chicharito's record to continue against Chelsea, as few of the London clubs defenders can keep up with the diminutive Mexican.
Daniel Sturridge Will Prove He Is Andre Villas-Boas' First Choice Striker
However despite the perceived problems in Chelsea's attack, Daniel Sturridge has emerged as the silver lining.
His movement is incredible, his ball skills are on par with some of the best players, and he has a appetite for scoring goals. The partnership he appears to be developing with Juan Mata and Raul Meireles appears to have had a very positive effect on the striker.
His strength and power is likely to cause United's back line trouble, which could allow Mata and Meireles to exploit the gaps.
Dimitar Berbatov Will Save United's Skin
A seemingly forgotten man at Old Trafford, Sir Alex appears to favor his energetic youth over his lethargic veteran.
It is already known that Sir Alex does not rate Berbatov for the big games, but he tends to rely on Berbatov when United either need a goal or an alternate approach.
Expect Berbatov to make an appearance that is one to remember for United.
Andre Villas-Boas Will Have a Career Defining Game
This is arguably AVB's biggest game of his career.
Never has he faced an opponent as strong as United, and he will have to prove why Chelsea put so much faith into the 33-year-old.
In a key tactical battle, AVB will have to get his tactics spot on against the world's greatest manager of all time in Sir Alex Ferguson.
I do not expect AVB to give up his 4-3-3 formation or abandon his reliance on free-flowing attacking football. AVB is also likely to make headlines by benching Torres.
David de Gea Will Silence the Critics
While the Spaniard had a tough time settling in to the EPL, de Gea looks to be growing in confidence week in and week out.
It is highly unlikely that Anders Lindegaard will be given the nod, as Sir Alex will want to show de Gea that he still has his backing.
David de Gea will be aware of the threats that Chelsea pose, as he is very familiar with one of Chelsea's biggest threats in Juan Mata from his time spent in La Liga.
De Gea will finally prove how good he is, and why Sir Alex brought him in to replace Edwin van der Sar.
Juan Mata Will Make a Claim for One the the Best Players in the EPL
Juan Mata is the type of player Chelsea fans have been hoping for. Confident on the ball, and fearless when it comes to running at defenders. Chelsea have lacked a threat from dribble penetration, and Mata is proving that he is the player to fill the void.
A tactician at unlocking defenses, Mata will be up against a real challenge in Jones/Smalling/Vidic/Evra and co.
I expect Mata to meet this challenge head on, and define himself as one the Premier Leagues most dangerous players.
Wayne Rooney Will Prove Sir Alex's Claims
Recently, Sir Alex made a rather bold claim by comparing Rooney to Pele.
Sir Alex does things for a reason, and the reason for comparing Rooney to Pele could be a challenge by the United manager.
Rooney can no doubt reach meteoric levels such as Pele, whether he does so or not is yet to be decided.
But given Rooney's desire and motivation and his early season form, Rooney seems intent on backing his managers claim.
What better team to prove this claim by sinking one of United's title rivals this weekend?
Torres to Anzhi Makhachkala
Watching one of World Footballs best strikers in the World not be able to perform is difficult for Chelsea fans to watch.
Surely a Roman Abramovich fueled transfer, Torres has never looked promising at Chelsea. Whether it be the tactics, the players, the formation or the weather; Torres just can't buy a goal.
Should Torres fail to appear on the pitch against United, or have some sort of impact, this game will likely be the turning point in which see's Torres shipped off to Russia.
Rio Ferdinand Will Get Injured....Again
Yet this time, will be his last.
Now at 32, and with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, and Johnny Evans all chomping at the bit, Rio Ferdinand is likely to lose out almost immediately after returning from injury.
While his new injury he is likely to sustain against Chelsea will be a difficult one for the center back to swallow, ultimately it will prove as one of the best things for United going forward as Jones and Smalling will become Vidic's first choice partner.
The Final Score Will Have a Huge Boost for the Winner
If Chelsea win this match, they will have gained some serious momentum. Moving into first place after beating United at Old Trafford will be a huge boost knowing that United will than have to travel to Stamford Bridge.
A positive result will also see Andres Villas-Boas gain full backing from the club, and full confidence in his tactics.
However, United are currently on another level, and I don't see Chelsea stopping them.
A win over Chelsea will be a huge boost for United, as they have already faced Arsenal and Tottenham.
A psychological boost is available for both clubs, but I suspect United will come out on top.
Final Score: United 3-1 Chelsea