We’re back at the Bridge for what could be an enthralling game. Here are the factors that are crucial for either team looking progression to the Quarter Finals.
This is a factor hugely tipped in United’s favour. Chelsea’s morale will be at an all time low with two defeats on the trot. On the other hand, the Red Devils haven’t lost for a month and are riding high. Add in that this would be the blues’ third defeat on the spin and some heads may go down in London. The youngsters will need to raise their game.
Another factor where United have an edge. The only out-and-out fully fledged strikers Chelsea have are Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge. Torres is suspended and the blues have a tough clash against Swansea in Wales at the weekend. Sturridge will be needed for that. Who starts? The difference is that United have 4 strikers who would not find it hard to get into this Chelsea team. He will probably start with Hernandez and Welbeck, although even then the youth are knocking on the door.
Sir Alex Ferguson summed it all up when wishing Lee Mason ‘good luck’ ahead of today’s clash. He said, when asked if he had a message to him: “Good luck to the referee.” Expect the game to contain a lot of personal battles and grudges, yet flow rather smoothly. There will be a few yellows however, but Mason should have a solid game with little to no big decisions.
I think both teams will want to attack; it is in both’s nature. Expect free-flowing football without liberties as both teams can afford to play that way as there is no shame to going out to one of the teams fighting for the title. Di Matteo, however, will find it easier to fire up the team then Ferguson as Chelsea will want revenge. How United deal with it will tell us a little bit more about their title hopes this year. Whatever happens, City will be looking on with interest because as the relative newcomers to year in, year out title challengers they will be interested to see how strong the lineups are.
Things to remember
Chelsea have not done too well against United recently. Sunday’s defeat means that Chelsea have not won any of their last 3 meetings with United. They’ve played 3, won none, drawn one, lost two and their goal difference is: For six Against nine, which makes a goal difference of -3. There’s also been an averaged of five goals a game, let’s hope it lives up to its growing reputation of goal fest.
Lindegaard; Buttner, Keane, Wootton, Fryers; Nani, Scholes, Anderson, Giggs; Hernandez, Welbeck
Turnbull; Bertrand, Luiz, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Ramires, Romeu; Marin, Piazon, Moses; Sturridge
Referee: Lee Mason
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