Can Manchester United win the Emirates FA Cup this season?

Having just qualified for this season’s Emirates FA Cup quarter-finals after a convincing win away at fellow Premier League side Huddersfield, can United go on and win their second FA Cup in three years?

With a number of big sides having fallen away in this season’s competition it seems like this year the FA Cup is a really realistic chance of some silverware this season. It’s a trophy that Jose Mourinho and Manchester United will really want to win, with the Premier League title looking increasingly unlikely to go anywhere other than the Etihad, and the UEFA Champions League a competition always tough to go far in.

Although United haven’t had to play the toughest of teams in the cup this season, you can only beat what is in front of you, and they have done that with real aplomb.

In the third round, they took a while to break down a Derby side who are going really well in the Championship, but it was a result never really in doubt as the Reds dominated. It was a bit more straight-forward in the fourth round away to League Two side Yeovil where the reds easily dispatched them 4-0 in Alexis Sanchez’s first game for United.

Likewise, in the fifth round last weekend where the Reds learned from their early season loss away at the John Smith’s Stadium to hit the Premier League strugglers on the counter-attack with two well taken Romelu Lukaku goals.

United seem to be getting better with each round, and cup competitions seem to be where the squad thrives this season. With being one win away from a trip to Wembley, and a home quarter-final against fellow Premiership side Brighton, the reds are really looking like one of the sides that will challenge for the cup this season.

With City being knocked out, in the last round to League One side Wigan Athletic, you can only see Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur really challenging United, and these are teams who have been very hit and miss this season. Chelsea have been very inconsistent, especially in the league, and although they have reached the quarter-finals, they haven’t faced the toughest of opponents.

Tottenham, have been far from convincing in the Cup this season, needing replays in both the fourth round against League Two side Newport and have a fifth-round replay against League One side Rochdale coming up.

United must enter the next round as clear favourites for the competition, and undoubtedly have the players and the squad to warrant that. Much of the side have experienced an FA Cup win, back in 2016 under Louis van Gaal, with new arrivals Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez picking up winner’s medals with Chelsea and Arsenal, respectively.

More importantly, key players for the reds appear to be hitting form at the crunch end of the season. The arrival of Alexis Sanchez appears to have sparked Lukaku’s season back into life as he has bagged six goals in nine games since the turn of the year. Sanchez himself has been instrumental since his arrival in January and is a player who loves the FA Cup, having scored in two separate finals.

The last round also saw the return of defender Eric Bailly, who had a terrific start to his career at Old Trafford until he sustained an injury back in December. Along with Eric Bailly, both Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera are likely to return from injury in the next couple of weeks, whilst Zlatan Ibrahimovic who hasn’t played since Boxing Day is likely to return at some point next month.

Key players returning from injury, and the form that the current team is in all points to a potentially very successful end to the season, and a possible 13th FA Cup is very much on the cards for the reds.

Written by Dan Pearce

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