The Blues will head north to Manchester tomorrow with a spot atop of the Premier League table at stake, the first time since 1986 that United will host a meaningful game without Alex Ferguson as the full-time manager. For Chelsea, it will be a chance to move six points ahead of the reigning champions just eight days into the new season. For Jose Mourinho, it will be the first of two major challenges this week with his young pupils.
The subplot of this one will revolve around Wayne Rooney, who is currently being chased by the Blues. The United talisman is supposedly unhappy at his current club, and would prefer a move to London to join up with the side his club will be facing tomorrow. How he plays (if he plays) and how the fans react to him will be fascinating.
Date/Time: Monday, August 26, 2013 at 20:00 BST, 3:00 pm eastern time, 12:00 pm pacific time. Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 00:30 IST. For any other time zones, use this handy converter.
Venue/Location: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Forecast: It looks like great temperatures and very little chance of rain tomorrow in Manchester. Anyone going to the game looks like they'll get great weather.
Chelsea FC Squad News: The Blues will be without a pair of center backs, with both Tomas Kalas and David Luiz out of this one with injury. They'll also be without the service of their newest attacking midfielder, as Willian isn't set to have his work permit hearing until Wednesday.
How Mourinho sets up for United will be interesting, as he has always been a bit conservative away from home in the past. It wouldn't shock me at all to see Mourinho opt for a counter attacking lineup that is heavy on experience in the midfield.
Manchester United Squad News: The injury list for Manchester United is a little more extensive than Chelsea's, with six players confirmed out and another questionable due to illness. None of Nani, Rafael, Javier Hernandez, Ashley Young, Darren Fletcher, or Nick Powell will be fit to play tomorrow, and Jonny Evans will be facing a fitness test.
The other question will be whether or not Wayne Rooney is named in the squad. He's not necessarily an every match starter for United anymore, and with the speculation of his desire to join tomorrow's opponents, a conservative manager would probably start him on the bench. There have been reports suggesting he'll be starting, but I'd still be shocked if that were the case.
Television/Streaming: In the US, the game will be televised on NBCSN. It will also be streamed live on NBC Sports Live Extra. In India, you'll be watching on Star Sports. In the UK you can watch on Sky SPorts 1 HD and Sky Sports 3D. Chelsea TV will have live streaming audio. If you happen to live outside of the areas I mentioned here, you can always check in with Livesoccertv.
More from We Ain't Got No History:
- Tottenham Hotspur appear a little bitter over the Willian deal
- Chelsea's new signing Willian displayed his squad number during his medical
- Matchday 3: Manchester United vs Chelsea
- Pick your squad: Manchester United vs Chelsea
- Chelsea confirm deal for Anzhi's Willian
- Report: Chelsea to also sign Samuel Eto'o as part of the Willian deal