4th time lucky?
No Premier League football for Chelsea this weekend as we play Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. This will be the 4th time that Chelsea play Manchester United this season and Ole has one both the fixtures in the league and the Carabao Cup tie. Manchester United beat Norwich 1-2 in a game of 120 minutes as they struggled to beat the Canaries. It was only when the starters replaced the bench players that United gained an upper hand. United have won 6 and drawn 2 since football resumed having scored 21 goals and conceded 6 goals, so United are in great form going into this game. Rashford, Martial, Greenwood, and Fernandes have been particularly potent in front of goal while Matic has also been standout. De Gea has also been playing really well in recent games and keeping them in their team. The fact of the matter with United is that their first 11 is very good but as soon as they need to look to their bench things get doubtful. Ole though has got them playing some good football but whether that’s him getting them playing that way or Fernandes its an unknown.
Chelsea go into this game knowing that Liverpool is next followed by Wolves and top four is still not assured by any means. The chance to win silverware is something that will be on Lampard’s mind though and he will want to get one over Ole and not make it 4 losses in a row. It’s not that Chelsea have been run off the park by United in any of the games we have played them in reality Chelsea have been the better team even in the 4-0 loss at the start of the season. The finishing in front of goal has been lacking and that is where it has cost us. Lampard was asked about the importance of the game amongst other things and he stated that he wants to win the game as every other game that remains and winning a trophy especially the FA Cup is still highly important.
Chelsea Team Preview
With Liverpool on Wednesday night Lampard will still feel that he can play a strong team having rested quite a few players against Norwich. Caballero will probably replace Kepa in goal with Reece James starting at right back and Azpilicueta starting at left back. Zouma and Tomori could start in defence with Kovacic at CDM. Mount and Barkley will probably start midfield. I have a feeling Pulisic might be rested with Hudson-Odoi given a chance to start while Willian will probably start on the right. Tammy should start up front. Fair amount of rotation but also a team that is more than capable of getting a result. With 5 substitutions available and the possibility of United also having a rotated lineup Lampard should have plenty of quality from the bench. The only missing player will be Kante who is still not fit.
Man United Team Preview
Shaw, and Williams should still be unfit for this game. The rest are all available to Ole although how much confidence he has on his bench no one really knows. Romero should come in to goal for this game with Wan Bissaka starting at right back. Maguire will most likely start with Bailly coming in for Lindelof. Fosu-Mensah will most likely continue as left back. McTominay, Fred and Fernandes will be the midfield as Matic and Pogba will probably be rested for the game. Rashford, Ighalo and James should be the front three. This is a heavily rotated squad for Ole and he will probably field more starters but the fact remains that United are 5th and with games coming in quick succession Ole will have to balance his squad.
Starting XI Prediction
It’s a massive game and Chelsea will have to play at their best to win, no sloppy fouls no set pieces and constant pressing because it has worked against United. Time to reach the final and end this run of United against us, COME ON YOU BLUES!!!