Chelsea v Manchester United – FA Cup 5th Round Clash at Stamford Bridge
By Marc Gingell
Special Game Two For Managers Under Scrutiny!
When former Arsenal and England Ian Wright forward picked out ball number 15, during the FA Cup fifth round draw, a wry smile spread across his face as this meant Manchester United would be visiting Chelsea. Not only that this game slotted in between PSG at home in the Champions League and home to Liverpool in the Barclays Premier League.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær
Three challenges that many experts believe will have a huge bearing on whether or not Ole Gunnar Solskjær is offered the Manchester United job on a full-time basis.
Solskjær – Game One Mini Challenge – Manchester United 0 PSG 2.
Pattaya One. Ole Gunnar Solskjær flanked by Micky Phelan and Michael Carrick.
For Chelsea’s Maurizio Sarri the pressure started to build up after their 0-0 home draw with Everton although the future looked bright again after the 2-0 home win against Manchester City. But that good feel factor fell collapsed on the road at Arsenal, Bournemouth, and Manchester City.
This put Sarri on a mini three / four game challenge as well. The two-legged tie with Malmo in the Europa League followed by the two Manchester’s. United tonight and City in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.
Sarri – Game One Mini Challenge – Malmo 1 Chelsea 2 Half-Time
Mini Challenge Status Update
Sarri, despite taking a 2-1 advantage against Malmo in the first leg, is still under pressure. If Chelsea beat Malmo, but lose both Manchester games, that could be curtains for him.
For Solskjær, PSG meant the end of his honeymoon period but he’s achieved something that no other Manchester United has ever done. Six straight top-flight wins, followed by a draw, and two more wins. He’s also taken United into the top four which didn’t seem possible at the beginning of December.
Chelsea Team News
Eden Hazard rested against Malmo, is expected to return for this one along with N’Golo Kante who came on as a 74th minute substitute for Jorginho against Malmo. It will be such a shame if Kante has to run around on the right wing again with Jorginho still in his rightful position.
Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso are expected to return to defensive duties which means a coming together of the defensive unit that conceded four at Bournemouth and six at City. Gonzalo Higuaín should be in to replace Olivier Giroud and he could test United’s defense.
Manchester United Team News
Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial are out with the injuries they picked up against PSG which presents Solskjær with a problem. Alexis Sanchez, an obvious replacement and just over a year ago rated as one of the best forward players in the world, hasn’t performed for United and went missing in action after he replaced Lingard against PSG.
Many United fans don’t want to see him on the pitch again but a few said the same about Paul Pogba not too long ago. Sanchez is only just 30 and this could be an opportunity for him to put himself back on the map.
Marcus Rashford could be a key and expose the defense frailties of Chelsea’s David Luiz. Rashford’s partnership with Pogba is blossoming. They are developing telepathy which sometimes happens with class midfielders and forwards.
Chelsea 1 Manchester United 3
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