Chelsea v Manchester United
BETTING & MATCH PREVIEW
Undoubtedly, the most high-profile tie of the FA Cup fifth round takes place on Monday night, as Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester United go head-to-head.
Chelsea recovered from a 6-0 mauling at Manchester City last weekend by recording a narrow 2-1 win at Malmo in the last 32 of the Europa League. Manchester United are likely to pose a far bigger threat than the Swedish side, though.
FA Cup holders Chelsea are unbeaten in nine matches in the competition, having recorded four straight wins in 90 minutes. The Blues have so far seen off Championship Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday this season in the earlier rounds.
A big factor in Chelsea’s recent good form in the FA Cup has been their defensive solidity, as the Blues have kept clean sheets in six of their last seven games in the competition.
The team from south west London have also won their last five FA Cup matches at Stamford Bridge in 90 minutes, while not conceding a goal. The Blues are unbeaten on home soil against the Red Devils since 2012.
Manchester United interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suffered his first defeat in 12 games in charge last time out, as the Red Devils lost 2-0 at Old Trafford against big-spending French giants PSG. The defeat has slightly dented the positive momentum at United.
However, like the home side, United have a good recent record in the FA Cup, winning seven of their last eight matches in the competition. The exception in that good run was last season’s final when the Red Devils lost 2-1 to Monday nights opponents at Wembley.
Chelsea have fitness doubts over Gary Cahill and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. However, neither were likely to start this game anyway. Ross Barkley and Matteo Kovacic are competing for a start in the centre of midfield.
Manchester United are without Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Matteo Darmian and Antonio Valencia due to injury. Marcos Rojo and Alexis Sanchez are also both doubts. Former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku could return to the starting eleven, due to the number of attacking players who are likely to be absent.