EPL Powers Face Off

Image courtesy of AFP.
Chelsea is set to continue its pursuit of Wayne Rooney. Image courtesy of AFP
There are plenty of sub-plots to this clash between the great modern day rivals of the Premier League: new Manchester United manager David Moyes takes control of the side for the first time at Old Trafford; Chelsea is set to continue its pursuit of Wayne Rooney by making a third bid for the England forward next week; Rooney is likely to come off the bench, again, after he was a substitute against Swansea City in the season opener; and there is a possibility Chelsea’s Spanish star Juan Mata could end up at United by the end of the summer transfer window.

This match also marks the return of Jose Mourinho to Old Trafford. The Portuguese manager won on his first trip to the Theatre of Dreams almost a decade back, and after two straight victories to start the season, his Blues could really put a gap on their rivals with a win here.

United has some injury concerns with Brazilian defender Rafael (hamstring) to miss this clash, while Darren Fletcher (illness) and Nick Powell (leg) are also out. Moyes is also unlikely to have at his disposal Ashley Young (ankle), Nani (groin), and Javier Hernandez (hamstring).

It has to be said Mourinho has been given a soft start for his second sting in charge of Chelsea, with home fixtures against Hull City and Aston Villa. The 2-0 victory over Hull was simple enough, but the Blues struggled to put away Villa, with Branislav Ivanovic’s header 17 minutes from time sealing a 2-1 win .

These teams played out some cracking encounters in the league and cups last season, and there were plenty of goals, too. In fact, only three times in 42 Premier League matches have these sides played out a goalless draw. Chelsea won the corresponding clash at Old Trafford last season 1-0 , which was one of three home defeats for the Red Devils last season, the most since the 2003-04 season.

Click here to bet on English Premier League matches