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Preview: Solskjaer to go for broke against Chelsea aiming for FA Cup final?

Manchester United -v- Chelsea

Emirates FA Cup

Wembley Stadium, London

Sunday 19 July 2020, KO 18:00 BST

Referee: Michael Dean Assistants: Ian Hussin, Richard West 

Fourth Official: Andrew Madley Replacement Official: Stuart Burt

VAR: Michael Oliver Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis

Manchester United will face Chelsea in the semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup at Wembley Stadium on Sunday evening. It will be the fourth time this season that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has met Frank Lampard’s side with the Norwegian doing the double over Chelsea in the league, which was a great achievement, also knocking them out of the Carabao Cup, winning twice at Stamford Bridge, an achievement in itself.

United will get a break from the Premier League this weekend with two matches still to play and a place in the top four up for grabs. Beating Chelsea and setting up an FA Cup final will be what Solskjaer would like to do, however, achieving UEFA Champions League football will be the more important task this season. Perhaps Solskjaer will try to do both, also having the chance of another trophy – the UEFA Europa League.

Form: United unbeaten in 19 matches now with Chelsea losing two of their last six. United will be the team to beat in this match for the simple reason that Chelsea have not beaten United in three attempts this season.

Manchester United: WDWWWW

Crystal Palace 2-0 W, Southampton 2-2 D, Aston Villa 3-0 W, Bournemouth 5-2 W, Brighton and Hove Albion 3-0 W, Norwich City 2-1 W

Chelsea: WLWWLW

Norwich City 1-0 W, Sheffield United 3-0 L, Crystal Palace 3-2 W, Watford 3-0 W, West Ham United 3-2 L, Leicester City 1-0 W

Top Scorers: United have scored 104 goals this season with Chelsea scoring 90; Rashford and Martial have 22 goals each with Abraham on 16, Willian on 11.

Manchester United Goals: 22 – Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, 16 – Mason Greenwood, 8 – Bruno Fernandes, 5 – Odion Ighalo, Scott McTominay, 4 – Daniel James, 3 – Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, 2 – Fred, Own Goal, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

United are unbeaten in 19 matches, scoring 50 goals, conceding eight times, keeping 13 clean sheets. Solskjaer’s side will be seeking to end the season on a high with a place in the top four of the Premier League, which is not something they can work towards this weekend. However, winning a trophy will be important too. United could hope to set up a first Manchester derby FA Cup final, providing City beat Arsenal.

Chelsea Goals: 16 – Tammy Abraham, 11 – Willian, 9 – Christian Pulisic, 6 – Michy Batshuayi, Jorginho, Olivier Giroud, Mason Mount, 5 – Ross Barkley, 4 – Marcos Alonso, César Azpilicueta, 3 – Callum Hudson-Odoi, N’Golo Kanté, 2 – Reece James, Mateo Kovacic, Pedro, Antonio Rüdiger, Fikayo Tomori, 1 – Kurt Zouma

Chelsea are a team that are in a position that they perhaps do not deserve to be in based on their form since the restart of the Premier League and the FA Cup. They find themselves seemingly secure in third-place in the Premier League with United likely to take on Leicester City for a place in the top four the season. United have beaten Chelsea three times, doing the double in the league and knocking them out of the Carabao Cup.

Team News: Solskjaer definitely has two players out of action with Lampard having three; United to sweat in the fitness of Shaw and Williams?

Solskjaer will continue to be without defenders Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones with the former out for the remainder of the season and the latter likely to return to training soon. Against Southampton, United lost Luke Shaw (ankle) and Brandon Williams (head injury) – both players missed the 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Thursday evening. Shaw has a 50% chance; Williams having a 75% chance of making the match. We shall see.

Lampard looks set to be without at least three players for the FA Cup semi-final this weekend. Marco van Ginkel (knee), Billy Gilmour (knee), and N’Golo Kante (thigh) could miss the match with the former two ruled out and the Frenchman only having a 25% chance of making the squad for the encounter at Wembley on Sunday. Could Lampard have the right players to take on this high-press attacking United side?

Predicted Starting XI: I predict that Solskjaer will put out a full team. pushing for the win then grinding out the result in the Wembley spectacular. UTFR.

Many United supporters feel that Solskjaer should be making many changes ahead of this match, just to focus on the Premier League and finishing in the top four. However, I don’t think Solskjaer will give Chelsea the chance to make a cup final easily. It could be a trophy for Solskjaer this season, the same first trophy Sir Alex Ferguson won, setting off his fantastic reign of the club. Therefore, not one to turn down.

Match Prediction: United have beaten Chelsea nine times in the FA Cup in the history of both clubs, however, Chelsea has beaten United in two finals, which means nothing at this stage.

United and Chelsea have played 16 times in the FA Cup with United winning nine, drawing twice and losing five times. United have scored 25 goals conceding 13. United have kept seven clean sheets with Chelsea keeping six. Three of the past FA Cup matches have been finals with United winning one against Chelsea, a 4-0 victory in 1994, losing twice by 1-0 scorelines in 2007 and 2018.

This season, United have beaten Chelsea three times already winning 4-0 at Old Trafford at the start of the season with Rashford scoring a brace with Martial and James on the scoresheet also. In the Carabao Cup, United won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge with Rashford scoring both goals then in the second Premier League match, played at Stamford Bridge, United won 2-0 with Martial and Maguire scoring the goals. Here’s to a fourth victory.

Manchester United 2-0 Chelsea

Written by John Walker

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