In the first big match up of the new Premer League season, Manchester United host Chelsea at Old Trafford in what will be the first games against each other for new managers David Moyes and Jose Mourinho.
It will be an early opportunity to assess their respective title credentials following an intriguing summer which has seen managerial changes at both cubs, as well as Manchester City. Pundits in the UK think that the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson and the reintroduction of Jose Mourinho at Chelsea will tip the balance in Chelsea`s favour.
People thinking that way may well be in for a nasty shock. Anyone who has either played with or for David Moyes, will know that he is an `identikit` copy of Sir Alex. Moyes pre-match preparation is meticulous and so-called stats purporting to show any sort of weakness are well wide of the mark. Bear in mind that any previous meetings between the managers previously have been when Moyes was at Everton; an upper mid-table club with poor financial backing, who could not compete with the big boys in the league.
Moyes is now in charge of the biggest club in the world and has almost limitless resources available. Furthermore, Manchester United is the current champions; they won the title by a clear 13 points, having eased down in the last five games as they had won it already. Chelsea was miles behind United and there is nothing to suggest they are any different this season.
United have been given a difficult start to the season, whilst Chelsea have had two easy games, however, they will find tonight’s opponents a different kettle of fish. People point to Chelsea’s win at Old Trafford last season, but that was when United had already won the Premiership; United beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge when it mattered early on in the season.
I also think that Wayne Rooney will play some part in tonight`s game, maybe even starting. This should finally dispel any lingering doubts about his being transferred to Chelsea to bed once and for all.
I think this will be a tight game, but with Van Persie on fire at the moment and United, fresh from a tricky away fixture at Swansea, where they won 4-1, will be the ones who come out on top tonight. I predict a 2-1 victory for the champions.