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Big Match Preview : Chelsea vs Manchester United Barclays Premier League

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

, 03-01-2011
Manchester United is winless in eight straight league meetings at Stamford Bridge, making this the club's longest-ever Premier League winless streak at any stadium. United last won in April 2002, a 3-0 triumph powered by goals from Paul Scholes, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Five players remain from those two teams: Wes Brown, Ryan Giggs and Scholes from United; Frank Lampard and John Terry of Chelsea.

Manchester United is currently a 75.4 percent favorite to win the league, according to ESPN's Soccer Power Index. Chelsea's title hopes are a minuscule .5 percent, and Premier League history rates them even worse. The Blues trail United by 15 points, and the largest deficit ever overcome to win the Premier League is 13 points, by 1997-1998 Arsenal. The Gunners trailed Manchester United by 13 points in December before recovering to win the league by a point.

Big Match Preview Chelsea and Manchester United clash at Stamford Bridge. Here's five thoughts on the match:

• Chelsea has been shut out in consecutive league games by Liverpool and Fulham. The last time Chelsea was held scoreless in three straight league matches was a four-game stretch in September 2007, when Jose Mourinho departed as manager mid-streak.

This match was postponed from December because of weather conditions. With Chelsea now sitting in fifth place, this will be the first post-New Year's league meeting with one of the teams outside of the top four since April 2002.

Chelsea's defense hasn't been the problem this season. The Blues have allowed 22 goals, fewest in the league and the same number they had conceded at this point last season. But Chelsea's scoring has dropped from 61 to 45 goals. Through 27 games, United's numbers look nearly identical to a year ago, with three fewer points, two fewer goals and one less goal allowed.

Big Match Preview Chelsea and Manchester United clash at Stamford Bridge. Here's five thoughts on the match:

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