Manchester United extended their undefeated streak last week, as they secured a comfortable win over Crystal Palace the last time out. However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men must change their focus real quick. Manchester United now have a huge matchup Sunday against Chelsea, as both sides will collide Sunday at Old Trafford with a FA Cup final berth on the line. Kick-off for this game is slated at 18:00 GMT. The winner will face either Arsenal or Manchester City in the decisive match.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might play with something quite close to his Best XI, as the team is more alive than ever in the race to clinch a spot in the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League. The only two absentees will be Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe. Despite the days of rest between one fixture and the other, Solskjaer is not likely to make many changes. The team has too much at stake to start making odd changes out of nowhere. With a crowded calendar and just two games left in the Premier League standings, don’t be surprised if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer decides to rotate the lineup a bit. It is expected that Sergio Romero will return to the starting role, as he has been the designated goalkeeper in Cup matches this term.
On the other hand, Chelsea will be missing a key piece in midfield with N’Golo Kante sidelined through injury. Top prospect Billy Gilmour, as well as Marco van Ginkel and Charlie Musonda, are out as well. Manager Frank Lampard is likely to play a strong side in this contest, although there might be some rotations — including the presence of Willy Caballero between the posts and a few changes to the centre-back pairing. It also remains to be seen whether Olivier Giround or Tammy Abraham will spearhead the attack. Neither has been very effective over the last few matches.
The Red Devils enter this game on the heels of an 19-game undefeated streak in all competitions. This run includes 12 straight contests undefeated at the Premier League level (W8, D4). Their most recent loss came on January 22nd against Burnley. However, United were not as strong back then as they are right now. It must be said Manchester United have played four matches in the tournament and have won them all. They kicked off their campaign with a 1-0 two-leg win over Wolverhampton, but later exploded. Solskjaer’s men recorded a 6-0 hammering of Tranmere, and later added a 3-0 win over Derby County. They had to work harder than expected in the quarterfinals, but they defeated Norwich in extra time thanks to a header from Harry Maguire in the final minutes of the game.
At the other end, Chelsea are focused in securing a UEFA Champions League berth for next season. The Blues, however, should pay some kind of attention to the FA Cup either way. After all, they have reached the final in two of the last three years, and won the title in the 2017-18 season in an epic final against The Red Devils. Chelsea have played four matches in the tournament so far. They kicked things off by winning 2-0 against Nottingham Forest, while later adding wins over Hull City (2-1) and Liverpool (2-0). Once the league resumed, The Blues defeated Leicester 1-o in the quarterfinals. Both Chelsea and Manchester United have conceded just one goal in the FA Cup so far.
It’s hard to see which side would get the nod ahead of this contest; neither Manchester United nor Chelsea appear to be massive favourites according to most bookmakers. Chelsea have been struggling with inconsistencies of late, though, while Manchester United seem to be almost unstoppable if not for that late equalizer against Southampton. That said, this is a huge game for both clubs and both sides are likely to feature star-studded lineups. Based on what they’ve done of late, The Reds are slim favourites to secure the win in this contest. However, don’t be surprised if extra time is needed to find a finalist.