The holders Chelsea take on last years finalist Manchester United looking to move a big step closer to retaining their FA Cup trophy, when these two sides meet on Monday.
The Blues come into this FA Cup encounter on the back of a positive result, as the West-London club beat Malmo 1-2 in their first leg of their Europa League round of 32 tie.
Despite the Blues most recent win, they haven’t been on good form at all, with their 6-0 thrashing at Manchester City remaining fresh on the minds of many Chelsea fans. A day that will be hard for most to forget, as that was Chelsea’s heaviest defeat since the 90’s.
Their opponents for this match Manchester United suffered a reality check in midweek, when they were beaten 2-0 at Old Trafford by PSG in their first leg of their round of 32 tie in the Champions League.
Prior to the PSG result, Manchester United were 11 unbeaten in all competitions under Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Manchester United’s last defeat before the PSG game cam on the 16th December- away to Liverpool in Jose Mourinho’s last game for the club.
Manchester United come into this game with more confidence despite their recent result in the UCL. The Manchester Club have more stability and this moment compared to the Blues. And there’s less uncertainty at this moment at the Red Devils compared to the Blues.
Recent form in all competitions for both sides
Manchester United- W/D/W/W/L
Is this game televised in the UK?
Of course it is!
The coverage starts at 7pm on BBC 1, with kick off at 7:30pm.
Chelsea will assess the fitness of several unnamed players ahead of Monday night’s tie.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s ongoing back problem kept him out against Malmo,while Marcos Alonso was rested for that game – both could return.
Manchester United forwards Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard face at least a fortnight out because of respective groin and hamstring injuries.
Teenagers Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes may feature, along with Marcos Rojo.
Full-backs Matteo Darmian and Antonio Valencia remain sidelined.
Predicted Line ups
Chelsea’s predicted starting eleven- Caballero; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rüdiger, Emerson; Jorginho, Kante, Loftus-Cheek; Hudson-Odoi, Hazard, Higuain.
Manchester United’s predicted starting eleven- Romero; Young,
Lindelöf, Jones, Shaw; Herrera, Matic, Pogba; Sanchez, Mata, Lukaku.
Manager Comments (Quotes Credit- BBC Sport)
Chelsea assistant head coach Gianfranco Zola: “Nobody is pleased when you lose games the way we did recently. Not only the players, but the coaches and everyone. It’s a moment when we’ve been alternating the results, going from one good performance to a bad one…
“We have to be consistent. We all know this, and it’s important everyone understands the situation and is working on it: coaches, players and club.
“This is important. The unity facing the challenge will make the difference.”
Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “You have to bounce back at this club. You’ll always have challenges, and away against Chelsea is one of the tougher challenges.
“We know there was a spell against PSG – seven, eight, nine or 10 minutes – where we lost our way a bit. But apart from that, we weren’t too bad defensively.
“We need to keep working on the way we want to play football – the way we approach the games will always be in an attacking, positive mind.”
Head to Head record
These two big clubs have met 181 times in all competitions, with Manchester United having a better head to head record. The Red Devils have beaten the Blues on 74 occassions in all competitions. There have been 54 draws between these two sides in all competitions over the years. And the Blues have only beaten United 53 times in all competitions.
In terms of FA Cup head to head record, these two sides have met each other 15 times in the FA Cup, with United winning 8 times against the Blues in this historic competition. There have been 2 draws between these sides in this competition. And the Blues have beaten the Manchester Club on five occasions in the FA Cup.
The last meeting between these two sides came in the FA Cup final last season, when an Eden Hazard penalty gave Chelsea their 8th FA Cup title in the clubs history. This final was Antonio Conte’s last game for the club, before being replaced by Maurizio Sarri for the start of this season.
Betting Odds/Match Prediction
Chelsea have been made slight favourites by Bet 365,to win this round of 16 tie against the Red Devils. Bet 365 have priced a Chelsea win at 21/20. A draw between these two sides which would take this encounter to extra time, and possible penalties is being priced at 11/4. A Manchester United win at Stamford Bridge is being priced at 11/4.
My realistic prediction as a Journalist is a 0-1 win to Manchester United.
My optimistic prediction as a Chelsea fans is a 2-1 win to Chelsea. I’m hoping that this game will motivate the players. I think that Higuain and Hazard will score the goals to take Chelsea through to the Quarter-Finals of the FA Cup.
Comment down below your score predictions for this big encounter tomorrow in the FA Cup round of 16.
By Danyal Khan