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Starting Lukaku against Man Utd could reap Chelsea rewards

| 17.09.2011

Chelsea have arguably been at their most dangerous against Manchester United in recent seasons when Didier Drogba has been at his unplayable best.

Drogba’s blend of physical presence, strength, speed and eye for goal has made him a thorn in the side of the Manchester United defence and a serious contender for the best all-round striker to ever grace the Premier League.

However, with Drogba set to miss Chelsea’s trip to Old Trafford this season as he continues to recover from being knocked unconscious against Norwich, Andre Villas-Boas may be thinking he needs a different strategy to get a result against Manchester United.

Starting Fernando Torres in the lone striker role is the obvious solution, but with serious doubts as to whether the Spaniard will ever return to his best, Villas-Boas may decide that taking a risk could be worth taking.

Handing Romelu Lukaku his first ever Premier League start would certainly be a bold move at Old Trafford, given the fact that the youngster has only had ten minutes of action in the top flight since his summer arrival from Anderlecht.

But with Nicolas Anelka’s deflected strike against West Brom being the only one scored by a Chelsea striker so far this season, goals need to be found from somewhere.

Not only will Lukaku be hungry to make an impact, his style of play is very similar to that to have served Drogba so well over the years.

His youthful exuberance and bustling style could catch Manchester United by surprise, while none of the defence will have experience of facing the 18-year-old, meaning that they will not truly know what to expect.

Also, Chelsea are likely to need an outlet ball to ease some of the pressure and Lukaku could prove the best provider of this.

Chelsea’s odds are 4/1 to beat Manchester, with Lukaku 7/2 to score at any point in the 90 minutes.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.