FA Cup Fifth Rd Matchup: Chelsea vs Manchester United
Monday’s FA Cup fifth-round match-up between two clubs who seem to be headed in opposite directions as Chelsea host Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
After a red-hot start this season, Maurizio Sarri’s Blues have hit a rough patch in 2019. In the last month and a half, the London club has experienced some of its most embarrassing losses, including a 4-0 loss to Bournemouth and 6-0 defeat to the table leaders, Manchester City. Chelsea have yet to fully adopt the fast-paced, quick-pass system Sarri intends to instill, and the clubs lack of focus has been its downfall, slipping into 6th place in the Premier League.
Manchester United, on the other-hand, is having one of its hottest months in recent history. After canning manager Jose Mourinho in December, the club has won 10 of its last 12 matches under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. After an embarrassing start to the season, the Red Devils have shown they intend on competing in every competition possible, rallying up to 4th place in the Premier League, and advancing to the knockout round of the Champions League.
For the blues, limiting defensive mistakes is a must. Chelsea must stay sharp in the back, and make Manchester United pay when given the opportunity by playing the ball up the field quickly and with purpose.
Manchester United will be playing without stars Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial, who both suffered minor injuries during the clubs 2-0 loss to PSG last week in Champions League, meaning United will need a lot out of Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez, who will most likely get the start.
Don’t expect a monsoon of goals like the Manchester City-Chelsea match. A low scoring draw will most likely be the result. My money is one a 1-1 draw, with Gonzalo Higuain and Alexis Sanchez hitting the back of the net.