Premier League Preview: Manchester United v Chelsea
By Football News
Chelsea aim to hold off challenge of Arsenal and Tottenham as they prepare for their fifth meeting with Manchester United this season.
Rafael Benitez's side face their 65th game of their season with a trip to the newly-crowned champions and, with their north London rivals breathing down their necks, they will be keen to hold onto third place in the Premier League with a victory.
Chelsea's trips to the North West have not been fruitful in recent times - they have not won on any of their last four visits to Manchester - and defeat in this game could open the door for both Arsenal and Tottenham to claim UEFA Champions League places for next season.
What will encourage the visitors is that they are unbeaten in three of the four games the two teams have played this season, however a late Javier Hernandez goal saw them beaten 3-2 in the previous league encounter.
The newly-crowned champions sit 20 points clear of their opponents, but after their draw with Arsenal they know they cannot exceed the 95 points achieved by Chelsea in 2005. However, that will not stop them wanting to claim a victory over their rivals.
One dilemma Alex Ferguson will have is who to play up front, as despite having the league's top scorer in Robin Van Persie he may choose to play Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez as they are the most prolific scorers, with six goals each, in the last ten fixtures between the two sides.
United have no new injury worries ahead of the game and may be able to welcome back Nemanja Vidic, Paul Scholes and Chris Smalling back after lay-offs.
Benitez may choose to rotate his squad after their UEFA Europa League semi-final victory over Basel, and there will be late fitness tests for Eden Hazard, who was replaced in the 75th minute in that game, and John Obi Mikel who has been suffering with a hip injury in recent weeks.