FA Cup: Angry Red Devils seek solace against Chelsea
Manchester United are out of the Champions League, it’s official. Chelsea are realistically out of the equation to gain the EPL title, even that is obvious. With the scenario as it is now, the two clubs would have definitely reassessed their priorities and FA Cup would now be one of their top priorities. On Sunday, playing in the FA Cup quarterfinals, Chelsea face a redder than usual Manchester United who are silently fuming at the moment after their loss to a certain Turkish referee and Real Madrid.
De Gea; Evra, Evans, Vidic, Rafael; Carrick, Cleverly; Kagawa, Rooney, Welbeck; Van Persie
In the front 4, Rooney and Van Persie are a certainty with Young and Valencia also in the mix for the other two spots.
Cech; Cole, Luiz, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Mikel, Ramires; Hazard, Mata, Moses; Ba
The only possibility would be for Lampard to play in the CDM role and Oscar to possibly be preferred over Moses.
CHELSEA’S GLARING WEAKNESS
Chelsea are a very different team to the one that played United twice earlier in the season. That is not to say that the personnel have changed a lot, only their approach has. With Benitez as the manager, they have become more organized defensively and their intent is much more direct, utilizing crosses and long balls much more than they used to earlier with Di Matteo.
JUAN MATA v/s MICHAEL CARRICK
If there is one Chelsea player who has always hit top form against the Red Devils, it has got to be their genius Spaniard, Juan Mata. Whether it is his exquisite control or his beautiful free kicks, he has been a constant thorn for United in the last two years or so. It will therefore be the responsibility of Michael Carrick to do what he does best, shackle down the main attacking play-maker. That and distribute the ball as usual. This duel will be the fulcrum of balance between a toothless Chelsea and a United defensive breakdown.
KEY PLAYER: SHINJI KAGAWA
With the Japanese International having shaken off his injuries and finally adapting to Manchester United, the fans are now finally witnessing last year’s best player of Bundesliga. His sublime hat trick against Norwich was testament to his best qualities. He would relish the game against Chelsea because of the time and space the he would have on the ball. With the front 4 often detached from the defence, he could easily operate in the hole, making it a profitable avenue for United.
This match could not have come at a worse time for Chelsea as they travel to Manchester following a 1-0 defeat in Europa League. Manchester United, denied their chance to defeat Real Madrid, are going to come at Chelsea with full force. With Chelsea as they are now, United could very well tear them apart.