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UCL quarters preview: Chelsea's fated clash against Manchester United

1.26K   //    20 Mar 2011, 04:35 IST

The Moscow stars are shining brightly and with good reason. Chelsea play Manchester United in the Champions League quarterfinal and it is the first 2 leg encounter between the English giants. The last Champions League clash between the two teams was in the epic final at Moscow which provided unbridled drama and plenty of action as Manchester United edged it on penalty kicks.

Such a high voltage clash is always tough to call.  Chelsea have won the previous 4 out of the 5 meetings with Manchester United. This however will in no way make them start as the favorites in this clash. Surely, even those results will not have any bearing on this tie. What will have a bearing though is the players’ present form and their hearts. Much of the Chelsea and Manchester United squads have remained the same since the final Moscow. The result of that match will however have its own bearings.

Chelsea’s season has been like a roller coaster ride. The start was brilliant, then the extended blip and finally some ground now. Manchester United have been dodgy,unspectacular but never the less successful and see themselves pretty at the top of the league and in the semi finals of the FA Cup. Chelsea are way behind in the Premier League and will require a lot of luck and results in their favour if they are to retain the title. Realistically they are in with a chance in only the Champions League and are caught up with quite a handful in it. How they approach this is quite a mystery and like the tons of other fans I don’t want to know about it too. What we do know is that the mystery is is being cooked up well.

Seeing the present its clear that Chelsea have nothing to fear, but Manchester United have the history. Who will prevail in the key battles like Torres-Vidic, Rooney-Terry, Lampard-Fletcher is still anybody’s guess but the victors in the individual battles will go on to influence the quarters immensely. What we do know is that it will surely be a Champions League classic and a mouth watering clash. What we don’t know though is that if it goes to the penalties, then who will take Chelsea’s fifth?