Chelsea v Man Utd: five key battles


Chelsea face Manchester United at Stamford Bridge later today. Here are five potential battles we think could be all-important.

John Terry v Wayne Rooney
Chelsea skipper Terry can expect tremendous backing from the stands in the first home game since he declared he would be leaving at the end of the season. His battle against the England captain, a target for Chelsea in 2013, will be fascinating – Rooney has scored seven goals in as many games and will need to be tightly controlled.

Branislav Ivanovic v Anthony Martial
Ivanovic has no such contract worries, having signed a new deal last month, but he may be having sleepless nights thinking of Martial. Several pacy wide-players have given the Serbian full-back problems and Martial is one of the quickest in the league. Ivanovic will need to be at his best to contain the Frenchman.

Diego Costa v Chris Smalling
At the other end of the pitch, Costa will want a physical battle against the improving Smalling. The striker was frustrated by the Watford defence on Tuesday but has been excellent in recent weeks.

John Mikel Obi v Juan Mata
Former Chelsea star Mata is likely to be a key player for United and provide a test for Mikel, who has enjoyed a new lease of life under Guus Hiddink. He’ll need to be particularly alert against the clever Spaniard.

Willian v Cameron Borthwick-Jackson
The Brazilian has had the better of many more experienced full-backs than 19-year-old Borthwick-Jackson. The teenager will have gained confidence from an impressive performance in midweek, but facing the irrepressible Willian is a very different task.