Preview: Manchester United long overdue a victory at Stamford Bridge; players need to make this visit count…

Chelsea -v- Manchester United

Emirates FA Cup

Stamford Bridge, London

Monday 18 February 2019; KO 19:30 GMT

Referee: Kevin Friend

Manchester United face another battle at Stamford Bridge on Monday evening with Chelsea currently standing in the way of a quarter-final place in the Emirates FA Cup this season. Some will suggest that this is United’s best chance of ending the season with a trophy. It will be a rematch of the FA Cup final from last season which saw a poor United side against a poor Chelsea side. Phil Jones gave away a penalty, the only goal of the game, which meant Chelsea won the cup.

United were in action on Tuesday evening in the UEFA Champions League, losing 2-0 to Paris Saint-Germain, the first defeat under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season. United also lost Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial for a number of weeks through injury, which may come back to haunt United with both Chelsea and Liverpool standing in their way in a week which could mean something or nothing for United. Still, Solskjaer may have learned something from Sir Alex Ferguson when talking about injuries, hopefully.

United have propelled themselves into the top four of the Premier League, despite sitting 11 points from fourth just after Jose Mourinho was sacked, after the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool in December 2018. The work they have done on the pitch has led them into the position they are in right now. Some players though will need to step up and deliver instead of hiding behind huge salaries and the protection of the club. United are past due a win at Stamford Bridge.

Pre-Match Press Conference: Solskjaer talks about Chelsea and injuries ahead of Stamford Bridge clash on Monday

Form: United defeated once in the last six matches, Chelsea defeated twice in the same number of games – ten goals conceded in the two defeats though!

Manchester United: LWWDWW

Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 L, Fulham 3-0 W, Leicester City 1-0 W, Burnley 2-2 D, Arsenal 3-1 W, Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 W

United lost their first match under Solskjaer on Tuesday evening, also losing their undefeated streak under the caretaker manager. There was an overreaction after the defeat. When United were poor under Mourinho, some factions of supporters blamed everything on the Portuguese coach and said these players were good enough to challenge any team. Now, the club is just a few more players from challenging other clubs. When will people realise that United, under Ed Woodward and the Glazers are just not good enough?

Chelsea: WLWLWW

Malmo 2-1 W, Manchester City 6-0 L, Huddersfield Town 5-0 W, Bournemouth 4-0 L, Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 W, Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 W

Chelsea has been one of the poorer teams in the Premier League in 2019. Two defeats in their last six matches, conceding 10 goals in those two matches alone. Maurizio Sarri has been criticised by Chelsea supporters and could be only a matter of time from being sacked, which is great to see. Chelsea is normally the football club that shows how pathetic it is to have more money than common sense. How many more managers will they have over the next few years? Maybe Jose Mourinho for a third time…

Embed from Getty Images

Team News: Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial will be out of action for two to three weeks…

Solskjaer confirmed the worst possible news on Friday afternoon when he spoke to the media ahead of the visit to Chelsea. Both Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial were injured against PSG on Tuesday evening and both will miss the Chelsea match, probably the Liverpool gave too, and at least a few more after that. However, Solskjaer will understand that you need to keep your cards close to your chest, learning from Sir Alex Ferguson, could he be telling the truth? Maybe we will get a surprise?

Mason Greenwood is currently injured, so it is unlikely that he will be called upon to face Chelsea, possibly Liverpool but Solskjaer did suggest that Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong could both be involved in the squad which will travel to London ahead of the match on Monday evening. United will also be without Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian but other than they, Solskjaer will have all his other players available for the clash.

Predicted Starting XI: Sanchez, Lukaku, and Rashford to lead the line against Chelsea; youth on the bench waiting for their chance to shine?

Solskjaer will have to find the best match for Chelsea on Monday night. With Lingard and Martial on the sidelines, Marcus Rashford may have to move into the right-wing position with Alexis Sanchez playing on the left and Romelu Lukaku as the main striker. Perhaps Solskjaer could leave Rashford in the centre and push Lukaku on the right? It would be better than seeing Juan Mata play in that position, which will expose the right-back and give United less pace on the right, as will Lukaku playing there…


Match Prediction: United to get that victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge? The first since October 2012…

Chelsea is an unpredictable team right now. A 6-0 slaughtering and an embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth stick out in their last six matches. United should be pressing from the start and looking to treat this fallen London club the same way as those before them. United have a lot of work to do in order to reach the stage that City are at right now but I feel they have the individual players who could make a difference in this game, especially after the disappointment on Tuesday against PSG.

Chelsea 1-2 Manchester United

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