Home
News
Features
Premier League
EPL Home
Latest
Clubs
Stadiums
Friends
Blogs
Football League
World Cup 2014
Europe
Euro Football Home
Latest
Russian Premier
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
La Liga
Football Italiano
International
International Home
Latest
World Cup 2010
Euro 2012 Stadiums
Euro 2012
Denmark 2011
AFCON 2013
Betting
About Us
Advertising
Write for us
Privacy
Recruitment
Twitter
Contact Us
 
 

European challenge might affect title-challengers’ title chase


Bookmark and Share

By David Phillips

Friday 08 April 2011

Having claimed a win and a potentially precious away goal, Manchester United have the edge in the Champions League encounter with Chelsea. With European action making way for the bread and butter of the Premier League, it is worth considering how the Champions League clashes between the two might affect their league form.


For the highly anticipated clash, Carlo Ancelotti picked his strongest pairing on paper, partnering Fernando Torres with Didier Drogba. Unfortunately for the Italian, his plans folded as the misfiring duo failed to threaten United’s back line. Whilst this has left the Blues with an uphill struggle to progress in Europe, it may be of benefit in the league, having highlighted the conclusion that Torres and Drogba can’t play together. Nicolas Anelka, unfortunate to miss out in the midweek fixture, is likely to return to the fold for the visit of Wigan Athletic, and with Ancelotti continuing to back Torres: “We have to have confidence,” Drogba looks set to miss out. Whether this is the right decision or not remains to be seen, but Torres’ low confidence was evident against United, and failing to back the player could damage the Spaniard’s Chelsea career before it has started in earnest.


Issues of confidence could become more pressing should Chelsea go on to be eliminated from the Champions League. Still haunted by memories of the penalty shootout defeat in the 2008 final and apoplectic at being denied a penalty on Wednesday, Chelsea’s players have talked of revenge in the second leg. Whilst a sense of injustice may drive them on to finish with a flourish, there is an equal probability that it will engender an ugly blame culture, such as that boiling over in the wake of their semi-final defeat to Barcelona in 2009.


By comparison everything seems rosy for the Red Devils – leading the league and bringing home a first leg advantage from Stamford Bridge – although United are not without their worries. Scorer of Wednesday’s winner, Wayne Rooney, had a two-match ban upheld by the FA and will miss Saturday’s clash with Fulham. The media furore surrounding last weekend’s outburst seemed to have little impact on Rooney as he netted the winner, with the effects only setting in as he sits out the visit of Fulham.


The demanding schedule prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to reintroduce Edwin van der Sar and Rio Ferdinand, and the former appeared to have a recurrence of his groin problem. Just as progression can bring momentum, it can bring fatigue and injuries, and with a threadbare defence punished by Chelsea and Liverpool in the league, United can ill afford any absentees in the run in. With fixtures coming thick and fast as they continue to challenge on three fronts, this becomes an increasingly valid concern.


With key encounters involving the top six sides still to come, Champions League results could yet have serious implications aside from European progression. Issues arise for Chelsea in terms of form and United in terms of fitness as the demands of Europe’s premier club competition stretch both sides to breaking point.



Related Articles


» 

Roma Champions League exit boosts Man Utd’s Strootman pursuit

» 

West Ham’s Sam Allardyce says Leicester City fans should show more loyalty to manager Nigel Pearson

» 

Looking for a job in football? Submit your CV now

» 

Crystal Palace striker Marouane Chamakh out of action until the New Year

» 

Hazard to sign bumper new Chelsea deal

» 

Get your Premier League tickets with World Ticket Shop

» 

Mourinho rejects talk of Chelsea quadruple

 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 

Name

Email Address *

Comments


Please enter code on left.


Terms & Conditions

* A valid email is required to submit a comment. Your email will not be displayed on this or any other website, nor will it be passed to any 3rd parties. For more information please see the terms and conditions.



0 Comments


No Comments have been posted yet


 
 

 
  
 

 
 

Premier League Football News


ArsenalAston VillaChelseaEvertonFulhamLiverpoolManchester CityManchester UtdNewcastle UtdNorwich City
ReadingQueens Park RangersSouthamptonStoke CitySunderlandSwansea CityTottenham HotspurWest Bromwich AlbionWest HamWigan Athletic

 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
  
 

 
 

Follow us...



 
 

 
  
 

Kick Football News