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Scolari relishing first crack at Man United

September 20, 2008 09:23 IST

Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari gets his first crack at Manchester United on Sunday when his table-topping side host the Premier League champions.

The Brazilian has enjoyed an impressive start at Stamford Bridge since taking over from Avram Grant and will relish locking horns with one of Britain's greatest managers.

The rivalry between Chelsea and United has been intense in recent years and John Terry's tears after his side's Champions League final shootout heartache against the Manchester side in Moscow this year are still a bitter memory for the fans.

Skipper Terry will get a chance to gain revenge after the Football Association's decision on Tuesday to rescind the red card he received against Manchester City last week.

United manager Alex Ferguson, who had several run-ins with former Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho, was furious over the Terry decision. His frustration was probably heightened by the fact that his side have had a poor start to their title defence.

He was scathing about United's defending in their 2-1 defeat by Liverpool last weekend, a result that left the Old Trafford side in the bottom half of the Premier League table.

After Wednesday's goalless Champions League draw with Villarreal the Scot will expect a backlash from his players at Stamford Bridge where last season's prolific scorer Cristiano Ronaldo should return to league action after ankle surgery.

Chelsea, who coasted to a 4-0 win over Girondins Bordeaux in the Champions League on Tuesday, won the corresponding fixture near the end of last season to keep alive their hopes of catching United in a title race that went down to the final day.


Liverpool, like Chelsea, have also started the season with a bang and will aim to maintain the pace when they play promoted Stoke City at Anfield on Saturday knowing a victory will put them top before Sunday's big clash in London.

Liverpool enjoyed a 2-1 Champions League win at Olympique Marseille on Wednesday but Arsenal, whose long trip to Ukraine ended with a 1-1 draw at Dynamo Kiev, have had little time to prepare for their trip to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.

Two clubs where off-field goings on have made more headlines than their on-pitch performances clash at Upton Park on Saturday when West Ham United face Newcastle United.

At least things have calmed down for the east London side following the appointment of Italian Gianfranco Zola and former Chelsea coach Steve Clarke as their management team following the hasty exit of Alan Curbishley.

Newcastle, on the other hand, are still in turmoil after the resignation of Kevin Keegan and owner Mike Ashley's announcement that he is putting the club up for sale.

Manchester City fans will get another look at new Brazilian signing Robinho when they host Portsmouth on Sunday.

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