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Manchester United Vs Chelsea: Team News, Bet of the Day, Predictions

Old Trafford plays host to Stamford Bridge visitors in highly charged Premier League crunch tie.

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Sports News - January 11, 2009

Owen Hargreaves could return to the Manchester United bench after 19 months out with a knee injury, while John O’Shea could also return.
Wayne Rooney, injured in midweek, will be replaced by Dimitar Berbatov.
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti will recall Didier Drogba, who has recovered from a knock that prevented him from training earlier this week.
Drogba’s return could mean Joe Cole drops to the bench, with Nicolas Anelka taking up a deeper role.
Man Utd
Injured: Anderson (knee), Brown & Welbeck (both metatarsal), Owen (hamstring), Rooney (ankle)
Chelsea
Injured: Bosingwa, Essien & Ivanovic (all knee), Carvalho & A Cole (both ankle) (BBC Sport)

So the big crunch match arrives. Since the season began it has been pretty clear that the fixtures between Chelsea and Man United would be the ones to keep an eye on and it has pretty much worked out that way. Clearly Arsenal are still in the mix but at the same time Sir Alex Ferguson and Carlo Ancelotti appear to have two teams who are head and shoulders above the rest of the Premier League once again.

The Old Trafford side are of course without Wayne Rooney and that will be a huge blow for the club but at the same time Bulgarian Dimitar Berbatov has been in good form of late and should be able to offer a goal threat of his own having netted 12 goals in 19 Premier League starts.

Chelsea edged the meeting of the clubs in November thanks to a late John Terry goal and it will no doubt be as tight as ever as the sides meet up on Saturday afternoon. News that Owen Hargreaves may make a return is of course big news but its unknown yet whether Man United will risk starting with the England international after such a long spell on the sidelines.

My Bet of the Day would be on a 1-1 draw at 11/2 as the sides, even with Rooney out, are so evenly matched that I see very little between them. Side bets of interest could be on first goal scorers and you can get a nice 22/1 on Darren Fletcher or a shorter odds bet of 5/1 on Dimitar Berbatov.

My Prediction: 1-1 draw with plenty of cautions!

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