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Manchester United to consider Callum Hudson-Odoi with winger frustrated at Chelsea

Manchester United are reportedly considering a shock swoop for Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, as reported by the Manchester Evening News. It has been suggested that the England winger is frustrated with Frank Lampard’s side after being limited to a handful of starts in the Premier League this season. The 19-year-old will have hoped to be playing more football than ha has done this season, playing 1,519 minutes on the pitch with some players at other clubs getting a lot more time.

However, with that said, the player has been injured three times this season, missing a total of nine matches, which does not suggest that he should have been given less playing time at the club this season. Chelsea are a club that may well be looking to the future with the likes of Willian and Pedro leaving the club this summer, which might give the liked of Hudson-Odoi more playing time from next season, but that is if the player is not that frustrated that he asks to leave this summer.

That may be a long way off but you cannot fault United if these reports are true especially as Chelsea have been trying to turn the head of Dean Henderson, who has been on loan at Sheffield United for the past two seasons, with United possibly playing their own game to frustrate the London club, who were beaten 2-1 by Arsenal in the Emirates FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday evening. This could be an option for United if they fail to sign Jadon Sancho this summer, which seems likely.

During the course of the 2019/20 season, which is still not over for Chelsea with the UEFA Champions League returning to action next week, Hudson-Odoi has made a total of 32 appearances, scoring three goals and six assists at first team level, playing in the Premier League, the Carabao Cup, the FA Cup and the Champions League. This may not be the best form of the 19-year-old, who is certainly a talented player and might need that chance to start to show his worth in the Premier League.

Solskjaer will obviously have Sancho as his number one target this summer but there will need to be other players that the club could move on to in order to get players into the club to strengthen positions. United have done well with Anthony Martial (22 goals, 10 assists), Marcus Rashford (22 goals, 10 assists) and Mason Greenwood (17 goals, five assists) but when the trio are not on the pitch, United seem to lose a lot of creativity and rotation could cost matches moving forward.

The summer will have to be a perfect summer for United, who will need three competent signings to be able to challenge the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City in the race to lift the Premier League title next season, which will be a tough task with Liverpool looking to retain their title and City aiming to win it back. United have not challenged in the league since they won it during the 2012/13 season under the management of Sir Alex Ferguson, who Solskjaer will be seeking to use as his role model aiming to bring the success back to the club.

Written by John Walker

Dean Henderson stalling on Manchester United extension with Chelsea lurking

Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson, who has spent the past two seasons on loan with Sheffield United, winning promotion from the Championship into the Premier League and doing well in his first season in England’s top flight, is reportedly stalling on a new contract at the Old Trafford club with Chelsea seemingly lurking in the background after stating their interested in the 23-year-old this summer. The Mirror has claimed that Frank Lampard’s side be ready to move for the player rated at £55 million this summer (who came up with that price I do not know).

Henderson has a contract with United which runs until the summer of 2022 so they have a favourable position in terms of the future of the player. However, if they end up loaning the player out for another season, he would have one year remaining and United would not want to make him the number one at the club only for him to walk away a year later. This summer, they will need to offer him better terms to get him to commit, no matter what happens this summer.

It has been suggested that the player could be loaned to Sheffield United for another season and the clubs manager, Chris Wilder seems confident of that happening. However, Chelsea’s interested in the player could change that, especially if United do not end up securing the player to a new contract, selling him this summer instead, which could be a massive mistake. The player is likely to be the heir to David De Gea at the club but there are mixed feeling as to whether the 23-year-old is ready for that role at this time.

Obviously, the player will need to make the leap into the first team at some stage. With reports of Sergio Romero being linked to Leeds United, who has won promotion back to the Premier League after 16 years out of the English top flight, there is a possibility that the player could be given a chance to stake his claim to the number one position at the club next season, which he might be happy with although there will be no guarantee that he will player week in and week out.

At Sheffield, he will play as the number one, despite the club making a goalkeeper signing this summer already, only missing matches against United, unless he is injured. Obviously, this would be better for his development but so would challenging for the number one shirt at United. Over the past season, Henderson has made a total of 40 appearances for the Blades, conceding 37 goals and keeping 14 clean sheets in all competitions. The player will obviously want to be assured that he will step into De Gea’s boots at United but with the player seemingly undroppable, despite questionable form this season, it is not something that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be able to guarantee.

The player will probably try his luck and might even use Chelsea’s interest in him to secure a better deal at United, then go out on loan again next season, re-evaluating his position next summer after signing a new contract at United this summer. However, that would be the ideal situation and football does not always give you that. We could see the player reject a new deal, either move to Chelsea permanently or go out on loan and sort his future out next summer. We shall see what happens.

Written by John Walker

Manchester United to hold Dean Henderson talks as Chelsea offer to double his wages

Manchester United will hold talks with goalkeeper Dean Henderson next week after the player returns to the club from a successful loan spell with Sheffield United, his second season with the South Yorkshire club. The 23-year-old has previously stated that he would return to United once he is guaranteed the number one position in the team, something that I feel he has earned, especially over the last two years in helping the Blades achieve a Premier League position and setting out this season to obtain European football, which was dented with a defeat to Everton on Monday.

The Sun has reported this news, which is good for United, although unless they are seeking to upset current number one goalkeeper, David de Gea, Henderson might be annoyed himself, especially after watching the Spanish goalkeeper make many mistakes, with just two of them coming against Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final defeat at Wembley on Sunday. Blades manager, Chris Wilder is keep to keep Henderson at the club for another year, which would be good for the player’s development.

However, that said, United will need to pull something out of the bag in order to get the player to sign a new long-term contract at the Old Trafford club this summer, which would be needed if the player is loaned out again next season. Henderson’s current contract at the club will expire in the summer of 2022, meaning that in a year’s time, he will be into the last year of his contract at the club. United would want to secure him for five-years, maybe more, if they allow him to go back out on loan.

Henderson will probably be happy to continue playing for the Blades next season although he would be happier to be given a guarantee position at United, the club he set his heart on playing for. However, with Chelsea still interested in the player and the fact reports suggest that Frank Lampard’s club will double his wages, United could have some bargaining power to contend with. Obviously, with his contract expiring in two years, United have all the cards but in terms of his development, Henderson will have bargaining power with Chelsea’s reported interest.

Henderson, 23, has made a total of 39 appearances for the Blades this summer, conceding 34 goals and keeping 14 clean sheets, which is good for a player who had no Premier League experience before this season. The Sun have reported that Chelsea will offer Henderson £170,000 per week to sign for the London club, however, that would need to be agreed with United based on the player’s contract at the club. Henderson, if he really wants to be the future number one for United, will need to think about the offer and use it to his advantage.

It could well be that United offer him a new contract, possibly not as much as Chelsea will reportedly offer him, but give him certain guarantees that he will end up replacing De Gea as the number one goalkeeper at the club, whether it be this summer or next. I think the player is ready to step into the boots at United but he will be put under the microscope by the media and all pundits whilst wearing a United shirt. It will be much different to the criticism he faces at the Blade.s Hopefully, United offer the player some good terms and made a decision sooner rather than later. Chelsea could unsettle the player which might mean then end up successful, either this summer or in two-years time.

Written by John Walker

Chelsea stall over Dean Henderson interest; Blades sign replacement

Chelsea are interested in signing Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson this summer after his performances for the past two seasons on loan at Sheffield United. However, their interest in the goalkeeper has stalled according to The Sun. Sheffield United have recently confirmed the signing of Wes Foderingham who could be the replacement for Henderson next season in case the club do not get the opportunity to lengthen Henderson’s stay at the club.

However, Blades manager Chris Wilder has confirmed talks with United ahead of another season of Henderson at the club on loan, which would be great for the player. This season, Henderson has made a total of 38 appearances for the Blades, conceding 33 goals and keeping 14 clean sheets – 13 of those in the Premier League alone. The Express has reported that despite signing Foderingham, the Blades hold hope of keeping Henderson for another season.

Henderson has been linked to Frank Lampard’s side, who are seeking a replacement for Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has seemingly lost form this season. The Spanish international lost his place with Willy Caballero starting in the 3-1 victory over United in the semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday evening. However unlikely it may be that United sign a valuable goalkeeper to Chelsea the 23-year-old has suggested that he will not return to United unless he is the number one goalkeeper.

David De Gea, the current United number one, signed a new bumper contract at United last year and despite his shaky form, it does not look like he will be going anywhere. He was once the brunt of interest from the likes of Real Madrid nd Paris Saint-Germain but recently, that interest has subsided with United having full control over the future of the player. Now De Gea was terrible against Chelsea at Wembley and will need to upscale his level of performance substantially.

Blades manager Wilder was recently asked by the media whether Henderson will continue playing for his club into next season and The Sun reported the manager as saying:

“We have had initial conversations. Of course, we would be open to Dean [Henderson] coming back.

“He’s Manchester United’s player so they will make that decision with what is best for themselves, in conjunction with Dean.

“And obviously from our point of view, if there is an opportunity, we would love to take that up.”

Whatever happens, if United let Henderson leave the club on loan for the entirety of the 2020/21 season, they will need to offer the player a new long-term contract and he will be seeking a guarantee of the number one jersey at the club or he will not sign anything. You can see where he will be coming from. He has seen De Gea make some pretty amateurish mistakes whilst playing for the biggest football club in the world. United must see that Henderson is a goalkeeper for the future and one that could adapt and, as Solskjaer has put it, be the number one for both club and country.

Written by John Walker

Solskjaer’s verdict on Chelsea defeat; De Gea’s questionable display and more

Manchester United feels to their first defeat in their last 20 matches when they lost 3-1 to Chelsea in the semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup this season on Sunday evening at Wembley. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made some changes from the last match; a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Thursday ahead of their Premier League clash with West Ham United on Wednesday evening, which could see United rise to fourth in the table, which would be good enough to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.

United conceded the first goal in added time at the end of the first half, after Eric Bailly and Harry Maguire collided heads, which saw Bailly unable to complete the match, walking off the pitch then stretchered off from the sidelines. Chelsea opened the scoring through Olivier Giroud. Immediately after the break, Mason Mount doubles Chelsea’s lead before a Maguire own goal left United too far from a comeback. However, a late penalty scored by Bruno Fernandes gave United consolation.

Solskjaer won the FA Cup as a player back in the 1998/99 season when the club won the treble, adding the Premier League and the Champions League and becoming the first English team to achieve the feat, which also say Alex Ferguson being knighted for his achievement, which will be seen as his greatest in the game. United seem a long way from the team that they were more than 20 years ago but they are heading in the right direction under the Norwegian.

After the match, Solskjaer was asked a series of questions about the performance and many other things. Talking about the performance of his team against Lampard’s Chelsea side, the disappointed Norwegian, speaking to the official Manchester United website, said:

“Of course, if you lose the game you’re very disappointed. We had the first half that we expected, two teams that knew each other really well.

“We waited a bit for each other, nothing really happened until the long layoff and their goal and of course that’s disappointing that we go into half-time 1-0 down.

“We tried to make a change, a positive change, but it didn’t work.”

It is clear that United will need to do much better. A 19-match unbeaten run has now been ended and the club will have to start again, aiming to break that record, which will take the club into next season. It would have been good to finish the season unbeaten but it was not meant to be. Speaking about United needing to do better, Solskjaer stated:

“You want to win everything and we’re very disappointed in the dressing room, but we need to be better in these big games when it matters.

“We know that, we’ll have to take that into account, learn again and get ready for the next big ones. We’ve got two in five days coming up.”

During the first have against Chelsea, central defender Eric Bailly was injured then moments later collided with Harry Maguire and initially looked fine but kept falling over. This led to him being replaced by Anthony Martial. Bailly walked off the pitch but was stretchered off, suggesting that it was a serious injury. United conceded shortly after Bailly was injured. Solskjaer confirmed:

“We hope Eric will be fine. He had a cut on his head. When he and Harry were down for a long time, it was a big moment.

“Obviously the long layoff was a big test and we didn’t pass it because we lost our concentration and conceded a goal just before half-time, which was disappointing. That had a massive impact on the game.”

Maguire was also injured having a cut to his head. Are was bandaged up and was ready to continue after treatment. In the second half, he emerged without the bandage and looked fine to continue playing, which he did. Solskjaer confirmed that the player was fine, other than a cut to the eye, saying:

“Harry’s fine. He had a cut above the eye so he’ll be fine.”

Solskjaer was criticised by supporters and pundits for his team selection, changing the formation when he could have sent his team out better prepared in the same formation they have been playing in for the past month or so. It did not work for United, which was confirmed by the manager, as he said:

“We picked a team today to give us a best possible opportunity to go through in the cup and be ready for Wednesday.

“It didn’t work today. We almost got to half-time and we had the change when Eric had to come off, but that will stand us in good stead for Wednesday. I picked a team today to go through.”

Goalkeeper David De Gea made two mistakes in the first half – not making a save to deny Giroud from opening up the scoring and immediately after the break, not doing enough to prevent Mount’s strike from hitting the back of the net. The goalkeeper will know the mistakes that he committed but he has been full of them of late. Speaking about his goalkeeper, Solskjaer stated:

“Obviously everyone has to perform and everyone has a chance every time we play to stake a claim in the team.

“David knows he should have saved the second goal, but that’s done now. We’ve got to move on and look forward to Wednesday. It’s hard for a keeper to make amends apart from David making two or three fantastic saves after. 

“It’s so much easier for outfield players but David, in the rest of the game, made a few good saves. But he knows he could have saved that one.”

Brandon Williams, 19, played like a proper United player in the defeat against Chelsea. He kept his head up and continued to do what he needed to do. It has only been a week since he clashed heads and came off worse, missing the victory over Crystal Palace on Thursday and returning to the squad for Sunday’s defeat. Solskjaer, full of praise for the teenager, said:

“You saw Brandon [Williams] and the character he showed. He played a square pass into Mount [which led to their second goal] and he probably felt a bit responsible, but for the rest of the half he was absolutely outstanding.

“The kid has been out for a while and not played, and had the eye injury, but his character and personality out there was great, he kept going and kept going.”

Finally, talking about learning as a team, Solskjaer confirmed that his Sid have a lot to learn and that they are developing. Many of the best teams will learn more from a defeat than they will a victory so this came at a great time for United. The players will need to stand up and be counted in their next match. Solskjaer concluded by saying:

“What do we have to learn? We’ve got loads of things to learn as a team, but we are learning and we are developing.

“This team took a knock today confidence-wise, but let’s see how the reaction is on Wednesday.”

United will be back in action on Wednesday evening, welcoming West Ham United to the Theatre of Dreams for the final Premier League match at the stadium this season, ahead of the final league match away to Leicester City a week from today (Sunday 26 July 2020). As Leicester fell to a 3-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, their goal difference, which was higher than United’s has taken a hit. United have the same number of points as Leicester (62) with a game in hand. If they win that, it will be advantage United in the race to finish fourth, or higher.

Written by John Walker

Player Ratings: Manchester United 1-3 Chelsea; FA Cup or bust – United chose bust

Manchester United were beaten 3-1 by Chelsea in the semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup at Wembley on Sunday. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not be happy with this defeat, his first in 20 matches, which is a good sign of things to come. Frank Lampard finally got his win against United, fourth time lucky. United will have to get to the bottom of this poor performance with two big mistakes for David De Gea, which is something that needs solving sooner rather than later.

It was a poor start to this FA Cup semi-final for United, who were under the cosh by Chelsea from the very start of the match. Solskjaer will be worrying about his defence after Harry Maguire and Eric Bailly collided with the former suffering a cut and having his head strapped and Bailly coming off injured, on a stretcher after he left the pitch. To add more, Olivier Giroud opened up the scoring in the 11th minute go stoppage time at the end of the first half. United will need to dig deep to find something.

Chelsea doubled their lead in the first minute of the second half with Mason Mount putting a cracking strike towards David De Gea only for him to make a touch of the ball, sending it in off the post rather than out for a corner. This has been a disastrous performance for United and the deeper they dig, the further they will have to come back into the game. Solskjaer will not be happy with what he has seen here. All the work since the restart has been undone in 46 minutes of football.

Solskjaer made a double change with Paul Pogba replacing Fred in the 55th minute and Mason Greenwood replacing Daniel James in the 56th minute with United throwing all they can to get back into the game. In the minutes before, Marcus Rashford had a good chance but his diagonal shot rolled past the far post and out of play. De Gea made a save, denying Chelsea from another goal, although the sting was taken out by the United defender, cutting down the impact of the shot.

United found themselves 3-0 down in the 74th minute after Chelsea broke forward again with Marcos Alonso beating his man on the left, rolling the ball to Antonio Rudiger. He challenged at the near post with Maguire, the ball then ricocheted off both players with Maguire getting the last touch before beating De Gea for the third time in the match. Solskjaer then send on both Odion Ighalo and Tim Fosu-Mensah for Marcus Rashford and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the 79th minute, too late to fight back?

United won a penalty in the 86th minute after Callum Hudson-Odoi clipped Martial in the box. Bruno Fernandes stepped up to take the spot kick, putting it past Willy Caballero giving United only a consolation in this FA Cup semi-final. United just did not seem determined to get anything from this match after going 1-0 down, certainly not after 2-0 or 3-0 down. The penalty was literally the only thing United have to write home about. Back to the Premier League on Wednesday.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

A terrible performance for the Spanish goalkeeper. He could have done more for Giroud's opener and definitely could have done better for Mount's goal, which put Chelsea 2-0 up over United. De Gea should be inspiring the team based on the length of time he's played for the club but today he let them down.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Swedish Iceman let Giroud open the scoring at the end of added time and the evidence of him being the main problem in the back four is all the more plain to see.

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3 Eric Bailly

The Ivorian defender did not have the best of games against Chelsea. He came off injured after a lengthly break because of a collision of heads with Maguire, coming off on a stretcher in the end, after he had left the pitch. Not good for him, especially with all his other injuries.

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5 Harry Maguire

The captain received a head injury towards the end of the first half and carried on playing. United looked very poor during this game and needed some inspiration, which they were not getting. United conceded a third goal which was awarded as an own goal for Maguire.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The right-back, playing as a right-wing-back was not all that energetic against Chelsea but tried to get the job done. He was replaced by Fosu-Mensah in the 79th minute of the match.

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31 Nemanja Matic

The Serbian midfield veteran showed his experience in this match but United needed more than that. The team just seemed destined to lose the game form the very start of it. One defeat in 20 matches is not all that bad really.

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17 Fred

It was a poor appearance for the Brazilian who just did not settle in the game. United were losing the game because of the weak midfield from the very start of the game. He was replaced in the 55th minute of the match by Pogba.

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33 Brandon Williams

The left-back played as a left-wing-back in this game and looked annoyed that United were out of the game at the end of the first half. He continued to run during the game and continued to keep his head high.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

The Portuguese midfielder forced a save early in the game and looked like he needed a rest. His passing was not the best, possibly because of fatigue. His missed Pogba in the game and when the Frenchman came on, it was probably too late to start something. Scored a late penalty, beating Willy Caballero this time.

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Player Ratings: Manchester United 1-3 Chelsea; FA Cup or bust – United chose bust

The Welsh winger performed well against Chelsea in the past but today, he seemed out of form and out of sorts. It has been a long season for him. Perhaps he will improve next season? Who knows. This spectacularly failed today. Solskjaer will not be impressed. He was replaced by Greenwood on the 56th minute of the match.

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10 Marcus Rashford

The England forward had a poor match against Chelsea. There was little creativity with a weaker midfield. 22 goals scored this season is a great start but it does not cover up the lack of creativity and options in this squad. Rightly replaced by Ighalo in the 79th minute of the match.

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Substitutes

9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Bailly 45+2'. The Frenchman was fouled within a minute of him coming on - nothing given. He was unable to start the magic which was needed to get United fighting in this match. Won the penalty which Fernandes scored. Nothing else to say really. It just did not work for United today.

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6 Paul Pogba

Replaced Fred 55'. The French World Cup winner should have come on much earlier than he did. The damage was already done when he came on at 2-0 down. United need serious options in this team as many players are playing above the level they should be, or so it seemed today.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Replaced James 56'. He was unable to inspire United as he has in the very recent past. It is not his fault that United have relied upon him recently. United will need to bounce back from this.

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Player Ratings: Manchester United 1-3 Chelsea; FA Cup or bust – United chose bust

Replaced Wan-Bissaka 79'. Came on late giving Wan-Bissaka some time to rest as he will likely start on Wednesday. The Dutchman did well and helped United minimise the damage, which had already been done.

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Player Ratings: Manchester United 1-3 Chelsea; FA Cup or bust – United chose bust

Replaced Rashford 79'. The Nigerian could have perhaps started this game ahead of James. When he came on, with 11 minutes to play, United just had no chance to get back into this game.

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Goals: Bruno Fernandes 86′ penalty; Olivier Giroud 45+11′, Mason Mount 46′, Harry Maguire (og) 74′

Assists: Cesar Azpilicueta 45+11′

Manchester United: De Gea; Lindelof, Bailly (Martial 45+2′), Maguire; Wan-Bissaka (Fosu-Mensah 79′), Fred (Pogba 55′), Matic, Williams; Fernandes; James (Greenwood 56′), Rashford (Ighalo 79′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Mata, Pereira, McTominay

Bookings: Paul Pogba 71′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Manchester United strong for Chelsea clash

Manchester United will face Chelsea in the semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup at Wembley Stadium this 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.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Lindelof, Bailly, Maguire;

Wan-Bissaka, Fred, Matic, Williams;

Fernandes;

James, Rashford

Substitutes:

Romero; Fosu-Mensah; Pogba, Mata, Pereira, McTominay; Martial, Ighalo, Greenwood

Chelsea:

Caballero;

Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Zouma;

James, Kovacic, Jorginho, Alonso;

Mount, Giroud, Willian

Substitutes:

Arrizabalaga, Christensen, Abraham, Pedro, Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi, Pulisic, Tomori, Emerson

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.

Written by John Walker

Solskjaer hits back at Lampard’s ‘VAR favours United’ comments

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit back at the comments made by Chelsea manager Frank Lampard ahead of the Emirates FA Cup semi-final clash at Wembley on Sunday between the two teams. Lampard, a Chelsea legend with 648 appearances and 211 goals made the claim that VAR favoured United at this moment in time. United have had seven goals scored against them chalked off by the video assistant referee, which The Sun state is a league high.

On Thursday evening when United beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at Selhurst Park, Jordan Ayew scored once against against United, like he did earlier in the season but VAR cancelled the goal for offside. Palace chairman Steve Parish tweeted; “Is the VAR broken ? Serious question …”. During his press conference on Friday morning, Lampard labelled cartoon VAR decisions as confusing. On hearing the suggestions that VAR favours United, reported by The Sun, Solskjaer stated:

“I can sit here for hours now and try to talk about this. It looks like there’s a narrative, it looks like people want to influence whoever’s making the decisions. I hear people talking about luck, that we’ve been lucky more than unlucky.

“If you look at the factual decisions, I don’t want to sound like a certain manager talking about facts, but if you’re offside, you’re offside.

“That’s clear. Talking about lucky, the penalty we got against Tottenham in the last minute that was taken away from us, that might be two points for us.

“Talking about the red card Romeu should have had against us when he almost got Mason Greenwood crippled, that should’ve been a red card, maybe that would’ve helped us.

“Talking about Mark Noble when he should have been sent off against us when we lost at West Ham, talking about the actual decision that is made that is against Manchester United but is overturned and corrected.

“So it’s actually me that should be complaining that we get decisions against us on the pitch by the on-pitch referee.”

Lampard was asked his opinion ahead of Chelsea’s clash with United at Wembley in the FA Cup with him giving a good suggestion of the issue as VAR has not been the best. Granted, United might have had more conceded goals chalked off this season, in the Premier League, but if a goal is not a goal, it is not a goal. VAR is there to get rid of the things that should not be missed by referees and after a period of time, things will iron out a little. Lampard, reported by The Sun, said:

“People said it would favour big teams maybe, because of the pressure or fan influence.

“But those days are gone. VAR has come in to try and change that, not just favouring teams but just to get the right decision.

“But there is always a human element to VAR, still, and clearly they have to make a decision. 

“The confusing thing about some of the recent ones, and the one on Thursday night, is that it’s a very, very clear and obvious decision that was wrong and didn’t get reviewed and changed.

“A few of those have happened and that is strange. I would like to think that with VAR you have to be level headed.

“Some might go against you or not, but we seem to be in a period where, in terms of Manchester United, they’ve got a few in their favour. It would be nice if VAR worked in our favour in this one.”

It is going to be a good match between United and Chelsea on Sunday. It will be the fourth time that Solskjaer’s side has met Lampard’s time this season, beating them twice in the Premier League; 4-0 at Old Trafford and 2-0 at Stamford Bridge. The other match was played in the Carabao Cup, against played at Stamford Bridge winning 2-1. So far this season, United have beaten Chelsea three times, scoring eight goals and conceding just one. Could Lampard be worried about a fourth consecutive defeat by United? It has certainly got to be a worry of his ahead of this match.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: Manchester United to field strong side against Chelsea in FA Cup semi-final?

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.

How United have faired against Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup, plus their recent form in the Premier League and the Carabao Cup.

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.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Chelsea in the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium on Sunday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

Normally, I would think Solskjaer would rest David De Gea in cup competitions but against Chelsea, it makes me think that he would play him, no matter the fact that United will need to be rested enough to face West Ham United on Wednesday evening in the final Premier League match at Old Trafford this season. Sergio Romero has been a good back up goalkeeper this season, but something makes me think that he’s probably likely to remain on the bench, possibly getting a run out against West Ham or even Leicester – probably in the UEFA Europa League next month too, especially in the round of 16 second leg against LASK.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Brandon Williams

In defence, I think we are likely to see as strong a back four as possible. Aaron Wan-Bissaka will keep his place, possible for the first half, giving him a break before the visit of the Hammers next week. Brandon Williams seems the most likely to recover, out of him and Luke Shaw, so the left-back position will be his. If not, Tim Fosu-Mensah could be drafted in as he did well against Crystal Palace. Victor Lindelof and the captain, Harry Maguire will keep their places too. Both will need to be at the best of their ability as this season looks to get longer.

Midfield: Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba

United’s midfield does need some reinforcement. Scott McTominay did not look at his best against Crystal Palace and Nemanja Matic needed to come on to strengthen it with Paul Pogba unable to stabilise it himself. Solskjaer will have seen this and the fact that after Matic, Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, the ability remaining is pretty questionable. As Solskjaer says, Wembley will give anyone energy, so that is a clear indication that his best team will start and this is not something that is debatable, his first choice XI includes these two in the centre of midfield.

Attacking Midfield: Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood

United have been playing some spectacular football of late but in the past two matches, the magic seems to have burnt out and needs that spark to reignite is once again. This attacking trio with Mason Greenwood on the right, Bruno Fernandes in the middle and Marcus Rashford on the left is the best creativity in the squad right now – hopefully with Solskjaer seeking to bring in quality additions to his squad this summer so rotation will be an option without quality lacking. There are 46 goals and and 24 assists in this area alone this season, so goals are not something that United should struggle with these three on the pitch. Wembley should bring the life out of them as they could play again there this season if they send Chelsea packing.

Striker: Anthony Martial

The Frenchman as scored 22 goals and eight assists this season – 30 goal contributions. It is his best season at the club, by far and he looks set to continue his run of form, which is great to see. It is clear that his talent was never an issue but his application was, which could have been down to the manager more than anything else. That said. Solskjaer seems to have brought out the very best of Anthony Martial this season, seeking to continue his form into next season, albeit after a little break, after the UEFA Europa League, of course. United should be fired into the FA Cup final this season, where they will either face Manchester City or Arsenal.

Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Eric Bailly, Tim Fosu-Mensah; Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Fred, Daniel James, Scott McTominay; Odion Ighalo

Solskjaer has five substitutes to use for the remainder of the season, and into next season. There are three opportunities within a match to make the substitutes, not including the half time break. Solskjaer might need these to keep his team fresh, pushing for the kill early in the match, like they did in the opening match of the season, beating Chelsea 4-0. Sergio Romero will likely be on the bench, if needed. I defence, Eric Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah could be brought it, if needed. In midfield, the experience of Juan Mata could be needed with Andreas Pereira, Fred, Daniel James and Scott McTominay could be utilised. In attack, Odion Ighalo could add a different type of forward, if required/

Written by John Walker

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

copyright: JW