Manchester United winning run came to an abrupt end earlier this week. Facing PSG in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League, The Red Devils crumbled during the second half and lost 2-0 to the Ligue 1 giants. This result will complicate the team’s chances to reach the quarterfinals, but they will get a chance to bounce back in the very first day of the following week. This Monday, Manchester United will visit Chelsea in the fifth round of the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge. Will The Reds turn things around and leave the loss to PSG on the rear view?
Manchester United continue to pile up injuries. Defenders Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian remain out, and now The Red Devils have lost two attackers since both Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial suffered injuries against PSG on Tuesday. This could pave the way for both Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku, but there might be other alternatives. In fact, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could turn to some Academy stars ahead of this pivotal match. Mason Greenwood is out with an injury, but both Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong have been training with the side. Per the Norwegian, both “could” feature on Monday.
On the other hand, Chelsea didn’t have Ruben Loftus-Cheek for their Europa League tie against Malmo on Thursday due to a back problem, but he will be available. The same goes for Marcos Alonso. The Spaniard got some much-needed rest for Thursday’s match, but he should return to the starting lineup on Monday evening. Gary Cahill is back in training, but Danny Drinkwater remains absent. And Callum Hudson-Odoi should be in contention for a squad spot as well.
Despite losing to PSG this past Tuesday, Manchester United have been playing at a very high level right now. They won comfortably in their most recent Premier League outing, and have won 10 wins in 11 matches at the domestic level. Plus, The Red Devils are on a six-match winning run away from home in all competitions and can make it seven in a row for the first time since 2002 with a victory here. Solskjaer’s men have won their previous two FA Cup ties, but Chelsea will represent their toughest test to date. Not to mention, it will be a repeat from last season’s final.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are coming off a solid 2-1 win at Malmo in the UEFA Europa League, and they have also looked quite good in the FA Cup context. Previous home wins to two Championship sides – Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday – has them sitting comfortably in the fifth round, but their EPL form has left a lot to be desired. In fact, Manchester United recently leapfrogged them in fourth place following The Blues’ disastrous 0-6 loss to Manchester City the last time out. Will they heal their wounds against the “other” Manchester side?
What is our record against Chelsea?
Chelsea are a familiar opponent. Manchester United have faced the Blues 181 times in all competitions since the London club’s birth in 1905. We have won 74 of those meetings, with Chelsea coming out on top on 53 occasions. Plus, these sides have met in three previous FA Cup finals: Manchester United won in 1994, but Chelsea lifted the trophy in both 2007 and 2018.
Despite the fact Chelsea are not at their best, they’re still a team that would force any side to take extra precautions defensively. Their impressive attacking depth, plus United’s own goalscoring form at the domestic level, would suggest this one finishes with both teams scoring. It might get tougher to find a winner, but this game will certainly be close and might require extra time to solve it.