Saturday, 11 March 2017

Chelsea vs Manchester United match preview

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With little time to recover after Manchester United's tie against FC Rostov (which ended 1-1) in the Europa League, we face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday in the quarter finals of the FA Cup. After already winning the first two cups up for grabs this season, the Community Shield and EFL Cup, United will be determined more than ever to add to that collection. As the current holders of all 3 domestic trophies, we will be hoping to retain the FA Cup after last year's dramatic winner in the final minutes at Wembley. 

The main worry for us United fans is that Zlatan Ibrahimovic (who has carried United this far through the season) will be beginning his three match domestic ban, starting with Monday's crucial match. His assist gave us the all important away goal in Russia but his elbow on Mings in the game against Bournemouth leaves him unavailable for arguably our toughest game of the season. 

Chelsea, who have had a full week of rest, have a fully fit squad. With Chelsea's next game being Stoke in the Premier League 5 days later, Conte can afford to field his first choice line up. 

Ibrahimovic is suspended for Manchester United and Luke Shaw, who didn't travel to Russia to face Rostov, is expected to start. Eric Bailly, who is currently serving a European suspension could be the man chosen to control Costa.

The most recent news to be reported is that Wayne Rooney (out due to a collision with Phil Jones), Marcus Rashford (illness) and Anthony Martial (injury) will all be unavailable to face Chelsea. This means that we have no striker in the squad travelling to London. As if the game wasn't going to be hard enough as it was!

We are then left with three options. Maybe Ashley Young could be given the go ahead up top again, which would be very unusual. Another option is Fellaini playing as a striker - maybe we can imagine him to be Ibra. Or Mkhitaryan could play up front like he did on Thursday alongside Ibra. 

Mourinho's men will be hoping to show just how far they've come as a team since the agonsising 4-0 defeat at the Bridge earlier in the season where Mourinho faced his old club as United boss for the first time. Since that game, we have lost just two matches in 30 games in all competitions (although accumulating a lot of draws along the way). Although our results haven't been too bad, our performances have been below the standard required of a top 4 team in the Premier League. With Chelsea consistently playing at their best all season, United will have to play at their absolute best to stand any chance of getting a result on Monday. 

Although this is guaranteed to be a tough game, we must not forget that we are Manchester United! We are used to winning cups, competitions and trophies and we CAN beat Chelsea. Lets just hope for a brilliant performance that will be enough to take us to Wembley!



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