9 a.m. ET: David Moyes has done a lot since Sir Alex Ferguson passed him the torch in May.
Moyes installed a new coaching staff at Manchester United, took his team on a world tour, alienated and placated stars and fought for new signings. He also won his first trophy – the FA Community Shield.
However, the new United manager has yet to lead his team at Old Trafford in competitive action. That changes on Monday.
Moyes’ United faces Chelsea (and its new manager Jose Mourinho) in a game which pits two Premier League title favorites against each other so early in the season. Both teams look to prevail and sending a loud and clear statement of intent to the rest of the league and beyond.
United hopes to build on last weekend’s encouraging performance at Swansea, which saw it storm to a 4-1 win. Moyes will have most of his preferred starters at his disposal, including the outstanding Robin van Persie. The first 11 may or may not include Wayne Rooney. The unsettled forward hopes to leave United before the close of the summer transfer window, and Chelsea is his preferred destination, according to various reports. Rooney has battled hamstring, shoulder and achilles injuries since preseason started, but those problems pale in comparisons to the ones he has with United’s towering figure of the last three decades: Ferguson. But it is Moyes who must decide how to use the England and United star in such an important game.
Meanwhile, Chelsea built on Mourinho’s picture-perfect return to Stamford Bridge with a midweek win over Aston Villa. The sharpness and energy levels of Chelsea’s players will be a key factor in both the Blues’ performance and the outcome of the game. Mourinho could rotate his lineup to some degree or stick with the group which captured six points in four days last week. It remains to be seen whether David Luiz will be fit to play, as a hamstring ailment has kept him out of action recently.
Like much of the free world, we’ll be watching intently when United and Chelsea meet. We’ll use this space to bring you all the action as it happens live. Join us right here at 2:30 p.m. for our United – Chelsea live blog.
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Photo via Facebook/Chelsea Football Club
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