Arsenal and Manchester United are both suffering injury problems as we draw to the close of the season. Is this handing the title to Chelsea?
The lack of English presence in this year’s Champions League semi finals means all eyes turn to the Premier League title run in. With Chelsea holding a two point lead on Manchester United and a three point lead on Arsenal the last few games are going to be crucial. Arsenal’s recent mini injury crisis and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney conundrum places Chelsea firmly in the driving seat for the title.
Chelsea’s fans may find this slightly harsh on themselves considering the long term injuries they have had to work with in Jose Bosingwa and Ashley Cole. Let alone the loss of Michael Essien and players going to the African Cup of Nations. Do not fear these have been well noted. Given Chelsea’s amazing strength in depth, the injuries sustained have not had too much of an effect on their Premier League charge. I would argue though with Michael Essien and Ashley Cole fit their encounter with Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan may have turned out differently. Manchester United and Arsenal will not be able to cope as well have Chelsea have.
Arsenal in particular have done tremendous this season to put themselves within striking distance of the title. After their humbling by both Manchester United and Chelsea it seemed they had no chance. But after putting together six wins in a row, they launched themselves right amongst it. It may well have been in vain though as the treatment table could put their chances to rest. Cesc Fabregas will not play again this season after breaking his leg against Barcelona. This alone is a massive loss for the Gunners. Add William Gallas and Andrei Arshavin’s injuries which will keep the two players out for at least another fortnight and Arsenal are looking seriously depleted. Alex Song has inflamed his Knee; the Cameroon international’s time out is still yet to be confirmed. It’s not looking good for the Gunners.
Manchester United on the other hand only has one real major injury concern. The only one that really matters. Wayne Rooney. All the talk out of Old Trafford has been that it is not of significance and Rooney would be back promptly. In all honesty no matter what Sir Alex Ferguson says, Wayne Rooney was rushed out last night against Bayern Munich. He never looked right from the off and the gamble failed to materialise. It is known for definite that Rooney will miss the trip to Blackburn Rovers this weekend. I wouldn’t be surprised if the England striker misses at least two, maybe three games. There is no point rushing him if each time he is ineffective against the opposition and aggravates the injury further. One thing for sure is the longer United are without him, the less likely they look to challenge Chelsea’s storm for the title.
So the treatment table is going to play a major factor in this season title, Chelsea have been tested early this year with theirs and came through with flying colours. Its time Arsenal and Manchester United stepped up to the plate.
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