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Chelsea look to bury memories past against United

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Chelsea Captain John Terry will be looking to make amends for 2008With the majority of the back page’s headlines focused on the prospective England captaincy, it would now surprise me if that was John Terry’s only concern. The year is 2008, the location Moscow. And on this rainy Russian night, JT would make a mistake that reduced him to tears – missing the penalty that lost Chelsea the Champions League final, to bitter rivals Manchester United.

This year’s draw has faced the two teams against each other again in the quarter finals, for what will no doubt be a breathless encounter, whilst the only other English side remaining will play Real Madrid. Spurs will play against, former Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho’s outfit in yet another fantastic game. Having already beaten AC and Inter Milan there is no reason why defeat is a certainty for Harry, indeed victory is a distinct possibility as anyone who has cared to watch their Champions League games will see that they truly have graced the tournament, putting in some magnificent performances – especially at White Hart Lane.

However, my intention is much more focused upon the wholly English tie. Whichever team wins the game will progress to play either Inter or Schalke and as a result, both Ancelotti and Ferguson will be quietly confident of a progression to Wembley on the 28th of May. The game is a 50-50, and with United being plagued with defensive problems as Chelsea begin to recover from injury, it is likely that Chelsea will have a stronger squad. Didier Drogba will look to showcase his talents in this game, as he will in all likelihood be aiming for a transfer at the end of the season, and Fernando Torres has notorious form against United. Unfortunately for Fernando, he hasn’t found any form at all for Chelsea, so it is unlikely that he will start the game. Ancelotti will probably field a 4-5-1 and look to front up against a United side that lack physicality without their talismans of Vidic and Ferdinand.

Whilst Vidic may be fit for the tie, Ferdinand definitely won’t, leaving Brown and Smalling to form an unlikely partnership, as they did against Marseille. Whilst a good performance against the French lead them to the next stage of the competition, United feel the loss of Vidic consistently; with him they concede on average 0.69 goals per game, without him the statistic rockets to 0.91.

As this Premier League season waits for the inevitable ignition at the end of every season, it is impossible to avoid saying that this year it has not been the best. Draws have besotted the table, leaving a lot of clubs with the potential of a top half finish or relegation – and causing the title race to be a little less than Formula One. It is good news then, that English football has the opportunity to uphold its sterling reputation as the best in the world, as three English sides all compete for a place at Wembley.

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