Sport

Beware of Chelsea’s new found flair: Sir Alex Ferguson urges Manchester United to be valiant against attractive system

By Paddy von Behr

Manchester United must find a way to deal with Chelsea’s new system when the two sides meet tomorrow, according to manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Following Didier Drogba’s departure in the summer and the dual arrival of Oscar and Eden Hazard, Chelsea have developed an attractive style of play.

And Ferguson is well aware of its dangers and the importance of keeping Roberto Di Matteo’s playmakers quiet at Stamford Bridge.

“It’s not an easy system to deal with, but we just have to find a way,” he said.

“They’ve brought Oscar and Hazard into the team – they’re similar types of players, I think.

“They’re adapting to having players like Mata also in the same position – there is a situation where they’re in behind the front player all the time.”

As for his own frontmen, Ferguson has been presented with a selection dilemma after Javier Hernandez’s impressive showing against Braga on Wednesday.

“It’s a good problem to have” said the United boss.

“I don’t always enjoy it [telling players they’re not playing] but it has to be done.

“In fairness to all the players they’ve accepted it well and adapted to it.”

Hernandez scored twice in midweek to help turn over an early 2-0 deficit and maintain United’s 100% record in the Champions League.

“Chicha was tremendous the other night. He’s a really terrific player and such a dedicated footballer and professional in every training session,” he added.

“He’s improving – that’s the good thing about him.

“The thing that is making the difference to him is he got a proper rest in the summer.

“It was exhausting in the way it had been in the previous three years for him. That’s helping him.”

United will be a playmaker short, however, as Shinji Kagawa has been sidelined for up to four weeks with a knee injury sustained against Braga.

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