Capital One Cup Preview: Chelsea v United


mind sale geneva;”> Instead of helicopters they found themselves on a ‘Dvora’ (class fast patrol boat) in the middle of the sea. When the boat was rushed to Gaza they had to abandon it and jump into the deep water

Just like at war, the only thing you can expect is the unexpected. Soldiers and officers have to be prepared for every unknown aspect and unplanned event. Members of the “First Combat Helicopter” squadron might be used to rushed operations but this time it was decided to confront them with a true surprise. This unusual training day had one goal: facing the unexpected.

“In order to maintain the element of surprise, only three people around the squadron knew about this day”, says Lieutenant Colonel N’, Commander of the squadron, with a smile. “We prepared for it a month and half in advance, which is how we succeeded in surprising everyone”. The training session, which was kept in the dark was meant to conclude a long period of ongoing practices, focused on unexpected elements. “Part of preparing for this sort of combat scenario is mental, it’s beyond physical abilities”, explains Lieutenant Colonel N’. “Pilots need to know how to deal with unexpected scenarios”.

Where did all the Helicopters Go?

Thus, if we were to summarize the pilot’s long day in one word it would probably be uncertainty. Their morning started early while all pilots were called to report to duty-youngest to oldest and even two deputy commanders of the squadron. After arriving as fast as possible, they were told that no war started, but they have to take off in a short while for a very complex day.

After a short briefing, people of the squadron headed down to the helicopter lane just to find that no Cobras, aviated mechanics or ground mechanics are waiting for takeoff. When they headed back to the squadron, their commander awaited them alongside his trusted people. The three gave a short briefing: “You won’t be going home soon”. Wearing a complete uniform and carrying food on their back, they exit the base, and enter the car that will lead them into the unknown.

The next stop was the Israeli Naval base in Ashdod, followed by the commanding bridge of the ‘Dvora’ boat. After a short sail, the ship received a call to assist an operational mission south of Gaza–but it could not reach the destination with the pilots onboard, who subsequently need to abandon the boat and jump into the deep water. After swimming to shore, they don’t know what next challenge awaits. One thing is for sure, it will be unexpected.

information pills geneva;”>website sans-serif;”>Form guide:view sans-serif;”> United closed the gap at the top of the Barclays Premier League table with the entertaining 3-2 victory against Chelsea on Sunday. The previous round of the Capital One Cup saw United progress past Newcastle 2-1 while Chelsea demolished an under-strength Wolves 6-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Ins and outs: Sir Alex will keep everybody guessing with the nature of his line-up although he did confess he felt both managers would make changes. Senior figures such as Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie could be rested with one eye on Saturday’s match with Arsenal so the likes of Scott Wootton, Anderson, Darren Fletcher and Ryan Giggs could come into the boss’ thinking. Chelsea are still missing John Terry and Frank Lampard and have included youngsters George Saville and Nathan Ake in their squad. Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres sit out their one-match bans.

Last meeting: Of course, United triumphed at the weekend after taking an early lead through a David Luiz own goal and van Persie’s smart finish. Juan Mata and Ramires hauled the Blues level with efforts either side of half time, only for Ivanovic and Torres to both see red. Javier Hernandez pounced to grab the winner with 15 minutes remaining.

Did you know?: Chelsea knocked United out at the semi-final stage of the 2004/2005 League Cup with a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford following a goalless draw in the first leg in London. However, Sir Alex’s team beat the Blues 1-0 in the same competition in 2002 with a late strike by Diego Forlan.

Opposition boss: Roberto Di Matteo earned the right to manage the club on a permanent basis by steering Chelsea to FA Cup and Champions League success last term. The ex-Italy international earned praise from Sir Alex for his efforts, with the Scot stating: “I was surprised they never gave him the job right away when they won the Champions League. He deserved that recognition, although he eventually did get it, there did seem to be a bit of hesitancy on their part in terms of appointing him.”

Star man: Although Di Matteo is likely to shuffle his pack, there is the feeling he will send out a strong side in a bid to exact revenge for Sunday’s defeat. Terry, Gary Cahill, Mata and Torres started in the previous round, but there could be an outing for Victor Moses. The summer signing from Wigan is out to make an impact at his new club and could cause problems with his pace if selected.

Quote/unquote: “They’ll obviously go away a little bit bitter with us at how it’s gone and they’ll look to put things right on Wednesday but we’ll come here full of confidence and look to go through to the next round.” Michael Carrick, MUTV.

Sub-plots: The fall-out from the weekend encounter still dominates the sporting news agenda and it’s fair to say many pundits will be expecting a stormy affair following the Blues’ reaction to the 3-2 loss. Sir Alex joked that he wishes the referee (Lee Mason) good luck with taking charge of affairs!

Rivals watch: Tottenham are at Norwich while Liverpool entertain Brendan Rodgers’ former club Swansea in the other two Capital One Cup ties taking place on Wednesday evening.


Header advertisement
To Top