|English Premier League: Chelsea a force to reckon with, says Giggs|
27 October 2012
Ryan Giggs lit the fuse on Manchester United’s potentially explosive clash with Chelsea tomorrow by claiming the Premier League leaders are not the finished article yet.
While Chelsea have made a flying start to their title challenge with seven wins from eight matches to open up a four-point lead over second-placed United, Giggs believes it is too early to crown the west London club as champions elect.
Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday underlined the midfielder’s belief that the rebuilding job undertaken by Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo after the departure of several senior stars is still a work in progress.
“Chelsea are a talented team,” said Giggs. “They have changed the personnel a bit with Oscar, Hazard and Mata, who play in those little pockets and are so hard to pick up.
“Only time will tell if they are better. But it doesn’t really matter because you know you are up against a very good team when you play Chelsea.”
United would dearly love to win a league game at the Bridge for the first time since 2002 as they try to close the gap on Chelsea, but to do that Giggs knows they must find a way to cure their defensive woes.
“Obviously we are pleased that we are able to come back and have shown great character in those eight games,” said Giggs.
“But you cannot keep relying on the lads up front to score the goals. It has happened again against Braga but against Chelsea if we go behind it will be tough to come back.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea goal-keeper Petr Cech is confident his team’s slip-up in Donetsk will prove a valuable lesson ahead of the United match.
“We will play more or less the same kind of side as Shakhtar,” said Cech. “We didn’t deal with it well so hopefully this will serve as a lesson for the weekend.”
City desperate for
Meanwhile, Manchester City midfielder James Milner admits the champions must bounce back from their latest disastrous European outing when they return to Premier League action at home to Swansea today.
Milner believes it is not only City’s much-maligned defenders who deserve criticism following the A midweek debacle in Amsterdam where a 3-1 defeat to Ajax left Roberto Mancini’s team on the brink of Champions League elimination.
“Although the score was 3-1 we had enough chances to score more goals, but we weren’t clinical enough,” said Milner. “We need to make sure there is no pressure on the strikers to score in every game. Goals have got to come from all over the park.
Arsenal hopeful of rousing comeback
Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker is hoping for a happy ending to a troublesome week when QPR visit the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League today.
QPR would appear to be the ideal opponents for a quick change of fortunes as they are currently rock bottom of the table and have yet to record a league victory this season.
“We have great players with great potential but at the moment you cannot feel we are a strong squad,” said Mertesacker. “We have to learn quickly from what happened in the last two matches. We’ve had a difficult week so now we have to find our game.”
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