Manchester United take a break from the Premier League to focus on the FA Cup this evening when they travel to Wembley to face Chelsea in the semi-finals.
Man United can’t seem to stop scoring, as the Red Devils extended their unbeaten run to 19 games in all competitions, stretching back to a shock defeat to Burnley at Old Trafford in January. United maintained their unrelenting pursuit of a place in the Champions League by beating Crystal Palace 2-0 at Selhurst Park on Thursday night.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have beaten Chelsea three times already this season and this could be the perfect chance for the manager to rest some weary legs.
Transfer Tavern has worked on a predicted starting lineup, which sees Solskjaer make seven changes from the side that started against the Eagles.
Solskjaer and Frank Lampard will have their hands full as they try to weigh up the importance of the FA Cup with Champions League qualification.
While there is no doubt both teams will want to come away with the win, they could take the opportunity to give some key players a rest in order to keep them for the final two league games of the season.
The Red Devils have an easier run on paper at least, as they still have to face West Ham and Leicester City, while Chelsea will have played Premier League champions Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers by the end of the month.
United’s main attacking quartet have earned rave reviews, but Solskjaer may decide to break them up in preparation for the closing stages of the league.
However, he will surely want to keep a couple of his biggest stars on the pitch, and Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford will be licking their lips at taking on Chelsea’s leaky defence. The Blues have shipped nearly 50 goals in the league this season and Rashford will be looking to add to the brace he scored against them in the Carabao Cup last October.
Although Anthony Martial has been in fine form since the Premier League restart, Odion Ighalo should slot back in to the side to make his first start for the club since the 2-1 victory over Norwich in the quarter-finals of this competition.
Following a similar trend, Paul Pogba drops to the bench, ending his formidable partnership with Fernandes for the time being. Nemanja Matic and Fred step up in his place, while Scott McTominay misses out as well.
Brandon Williams and Luke Shaw are doubts for the clash with Chelsea after picking up injuries earlier in the week, so Timothy Fosu-Mensah could earn his second start in as many games after starring against Palace.
Meanwhile, Diogo Dalot will likely get one last chance to prove himself in front of Solskjaer, and Sergio Romero comes in for David De Gea between the sticks.
United will likely go into the game as favourites, as they have won four out of the past six games with the Blues. Nevertheless, Solskjaer will be taking nothing for granted as he plots to add another trophy to the cabinet at Old Trafford.
United fans, do you think this is how Solskjaer will lineup against Chelsea? Let us know your views by commenting below!
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