Chelsea are good at home and Manchester United are weak in the center of midfield, but the obstacles that Andre Villas-Boas' men face on Saturday might be a bit too much to overcome. Didier Drogba is gone at the Africa Cup of Nations, while John Terry and Ashley Cole are unavailable through injury and suspension, respectably. Ramires is out, while Frank Lampard is questionable.
United have plenty of issues of their own, but they boast plenty of healthy defenders, even without Nemanja Vidic. They're loaded on the wings, and Chelsea left back Ryan Bertrand will need to have the game of his life against whatever United throws at him. Wayne Rooney is rested, and he's tormented Chelsea in their matches over the last year.
But perhaps Chelsea has a trick or two up their sleeves? After all, Juan Mata is still one of the best players in the Premier League. David Luiz is a crazy person prone to unfathomably stupid errors, but he's also capable of running 90 yards with the ball and scoring a stunning goal. Fernando Torres -- surely -- has to score a goal eventually. Daniel Sturridge has had a great year, and Patrice Evra should struggle to track him. Chelsea have plenty of ways to create goals.
With Terry and Cole out, can they prevent them going the other way? Perhaps this will be a match loaded with goals, perfectly unbalanced between defense and attack for the neutrals.
Chelsea vs. Manchester United
Game Date/Time: Sunday, February 5, 11:00 a.m. ET, 4:00 p.m. local
Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, England
TV: FOX (USA), FOX Deportes (USA - Spanish), Sportsnet World (Canada), Sky Sports 1 (UK)