Lots of build up and anticipating ahead of the match tomorrow between the top two. United and Chelsea have had a mix start to the season – but still occupy the top two. The Stretty Rant looks at some of the quotes ahead of the game, with Ancelotti doubting our defense, Fergie’s praise of Lampard and Dimitar Berbatov’s view of the game.
Fergie & Ancelotti have met before in the European cup and tomorrow will be the first real domestic clash (forgetting the Community Shield) for the two rivals. Below are a number of quotes leading up to the game:
Dimitar Berbatov on the game:
“I always think Manchester United and Chelsea will be the top two and I don’t think this year will be any exception. They will be our main rivals for the title. They have great players and a great coach. Everybody knows that. It is still early but I think the title will be between us two. I scored plenty of times against them with Tottenham, now I want to continue with Manchester United. I would be glad to score a couple against them tomorrow but it is not about one player. If it was 1-0 and Nemanja Vidic or Patrice Evra got the goal it would be just as good because we would be taking the three points home and we would be above them again. In this match it doesn’t really matter whether you play at home or away. It is always 50-50. There are players who have the quality to decide a game like this in a second. But when I look at our dressing room, I see guys I know I can depend upon, just like they can depend on me. Everyone supports each other on the pitch, which is something we must have. We know it is going to be difficult. Chelsea have some really great players. But we have a really strong team too. They need to be wary of Manchester United because I believe we have what we need.“
Chelsea manager on United balance and intelligence of Wayne Rooney:
“The best thing is to maintain a balance. They have a good defence but also fantastic strikers. Rooney is one of the most intelligent strikers in the world, so we have to think about him. He has the quality to play everywhere. Up front, they have done very well after losing Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. Alex Ferguson has certainly done a fantastic job with this team. For a coach to stay such a long time with one team is very difficult, not only in England but everywhere. In Italy it would be impossible, for sure. He’s a very important man for the history of this club. United have a fantastic history and Ferguson is one of the most important men in this history.“
Fletcher believes win will help psychologically:
“There’s a long way to go yet in the title race, but this game could be important psychologically. We know we’re capable of going there and winning. It won’t be easy, but we’ll go there with a game plan and the manager will have a lot of options for the side he wants to pick. It’ll be a great challenge at Stamford Bridge. They’ve got a great record there, but we are capable of going there and winning. There will be times in games when we might not be on top, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to lose the match. That’s what makes this a good team, a championship-winning team.“
Fergie on Lampard:
“Lampard still retains a fantastic energy to come down the pitch. Looking at his statistics and appearances it is quite an exceptional record for a midfield player. He obviously looks after himself. Chelsea have an exceptional player in that respect and very good experience in the rest of the team, which can be important.“
Fergie on changing ethos after Mourinho:
They caught us all on the hop during the two years they won the league because they got great starts. We had to change our ideas about pre-season training because we always had this vision that it was more important to make sure the bandwagon was rolling in the second half of the season. That is why we shouldn’t be looking at January really. We should be looking at Sunday.
Chelsea boss on United midfield:
“Liverpool didn’t give United any possibility to play like that they want to play, and that was a good lesson for us because United can suffer when there’s pressure on their midfielders“