Jose Mourinho will make his way to the Stamford Bridge for the second time this season when Manchester United will face Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-final on Monday. This will be Mourinho’s second visit as a United manager, the first being the 4-0 loss at the hands of his former employers.
The Portuguese has to chalk out his strategy without Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the Swede has been banned by the FA and is currently serving a three-match suspension for elbowing Bournemouth’s Tyron Mings in the Premier League. Antonio Conte’s side will have an edge over the Red Devils as the Blues have been in brilliant form this season. The table toppers have already taken a lead of 10 points from Tottenham Hotspur with only 11 matches remaining.
With the kind of form Chelsea are in right now they are the clear favourites against United. However, Conte still has an uphill task to cut out against a rejuvenated United side, who will be looking to avenge their harrowing defeat against Chelsea in the Premier League.
Despite guiding Chelsea to their fifth title in the 2014/15 season Mourinho was sacked in the following season after the Blues had a run of poor games. United are eyeing a treble as they already had won the FA Cup and are participating in the Europa League quarter-final. Mourinho could be the first United manager to register a treble in the first season.
Team News and Predicted Lineups
Manchester United (4-2-3-1)
Manchester United will be without their highest scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede will be serving the first of his three-match ban and Mourinho has to field his starting lineup without their inform striker. Eric Bailly is available while Luke Shaw and captain Wayne Rooney are declared fit and are eligible for selection.
De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Rojo; Pogba, Carrick; Mata, Mkhitaryan, Martial; Rashford
Chelsea have no major injury concerns.
Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Matic, Kante, Alonso; Pedro, Costa, Hazard
Marcus Rashford is expected to fill in Ibrahimovic’s shoes. The teenager has had only a number of games this season and if given a chance he will be very eager to prove himself. Anthony Martial could start on the left flank and will be hoping to find the target.
The trio of Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Pedro can be very dangerous and has the capability to outplay their opponents. The front three have been very crucial to Chelsea and the United defence needs to be wary of their attacks.
Manchester United- 10/11
Draw – 5/2
Chelsea – 15/4