Your essential guide to Chelsea v United
Manchester United will be looking to bounce back from our first defeat under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when we make the trip to Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup fifth round on Monday evening.
The Reds' 11-game unbeaten run under Solskjaer came to an end at Old Trafford on Tuesday night when losing 2-0 against French champions Paris Saint-Germain, but we are on a six-match winning run away from home in all competitions and can make it seven in a row for the first time since 2002 with victory in south-west London.
After last season’s Wembley heartbreak in the final, United will relish the prospect of eliminating the Blues and securing progression to a fifth consecutive FA Cup quarter-final.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the big match at Stamford Bridge...
HOW CAN I FOLLOW THE GAME?
The game will kick off at 19:30 GMT on Monday and will be shown live on BBC One in the UK. Subscribers to MUTV will be able to enjoy live build-up to the match from 18:00 GMT in the 'Match Day' programme, while you can also follow our coverage of the match on ManUtd.com and in the Official App, which you can download here.
WHAT’S THE TEAM NEWS?
Solskjaer told the media on Friday that Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial could be out for two to three weeks after limping off during our midweek defeat to PSG with what our caretaker manager described as
“muscle injuries” after the game. When discussing the fitness of his squad, Ole went on to reveal that Academy striker Mason Greenwood was in line to feature at Chelsea before an injury ruled the prospect out of action but fellow youngsters Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong could be involved. Meanwhile, Matteo Darmian and Antonio Valencia have missed the last two games with what Ole described as
“niggles”, while Marcos Rojo could be in contention to make his first appearance of 2019 after recovering from his latest injury setback. Chris Smalling could also be back after being left out for the PSG game as it came too soon after the Fulham match, in which he made his first outing for two months after returning from a sore foot.
WHAT ABOUT CHELSEA?
England midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek was ruled out of Chelsea’s Europa League win over Malmö on Thursday night after a re-occurrence of a back problem, but assistant manager Gianfranco Zola said on Friday that he
“may be” available for Monday's game. Zola also added that we can expect to see a very strong Chelsea team for the fifth-round tie. Meanwhile, Callum Hudson-Odoi, who stayed at Stamford Bridge despite January interest from Bayern Munich, missed the Manchester City defeat through illness but returned to training during the week and could figure against United. Club captain Gary Cahill is also back in first-team contention, but Danny Drinkwater – who is yet to feature for the Blues this season – is still missing. Full-back Marcos Alonso was rested for the trip to Sweden but the Spaniard should return for Monday’s game.
HOW ARE CHELSEA GETTING ON?
Chelsea were hammered 6-0 by Manchester City last weekend in what was the club’s heaviest defeat since April 1991. Poor away form, including a 4-0 reverse at Bournemouth and a 2-0 loss against Arsenal, has allowed United to leapfrog the Blues into fourth place and final Champions League qualification place. The London club’s home form remains strong, however, with Maurizio Sarri’s side victorious in each of their last five games at Stamford Bridge – including FA Cup wins over Championship sides Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday. The only team to beat Chelsea on their home patch this season is Leicester City, with Jamie Vardy’s goal giving the Foxes all three points in December. The Blues were in action as recently as Thursday night, when goals from Ross Barkley and Olivier Giroud gave them a 2-1 win away from home against Swedish outfit Malmö in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie.
ONE TO WATCH
New signing Gonzalo Higuain has had a mixed start to his career at Stamford Bridge. The Argentinian striker scored twice in the 5-0 win over Huddersfield Town but struggled for service in the heavy defeats at Bournemouth and Manchester City. The former Juventus forward hit 36 goals in 35 Serie A games for Napoli under Sarri in 2015/16 and the Blues hope his firepower will help boost an ailing attack. Higuain has happy memories of playing against United: he featured in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final European game, assisting Cristiano Ronaldo’s deciding goal in a 2-1 Real Madrid win at Old Trafford in 2013.
WHAT'S OUR RECORD LIKE AGAINST CHELSEA?
Chelsea are a familiar opponent: United have faced the Blues 181 times in all competitions since the London club was founded in 1905. We have won 74 of those meetings, with Chelsea coming out on top on 53 occasions. Since the Premier League was formed, the Stamford Bridge side are the only top-flight club with a winning record against United and the Reds have tasted victory in SW6 just twice since 2002. The sides have met in three FA Cup finals to date: United thrashed Glenn Hoddle’s Blues 4-0 at Wembley in 1994, but Chelsea lifted the trophy in 2007 and 2018, thanks to solitary goals from Didier Drogba and Eden Hazard respectively. United were unlucky not to come away with all three points when the sides met in the league at Stamford Bridge in October, when Ross Barkley scored a 96th-minute equaliser. Watch the highlights of that game below...
Highlights: Chelsea 2 United 2Video
WHO'S THE REFEREE?
Kevin Friend will be the man with the whistle at Stamford Bridge on Monday evening. The Leicestershire referee has officiated three United matches so far this season. Friend awarded both sides spot-kicks in the 3-2 defeat at Brighton and was also in charge for the draws at home to Wolves and away at Southampton earlier in the campaign. Friend’s assistants will be Stuart Burt and Edward Smart, while Andre Marriner will be the fourth official. Video Assistant Referees (VAR) are in play at Premier League grounds in this season’s FA Cup and Lee Mason will be the man responsible for any decisions that are referred. It's also worth remembering that from this stage of the competition there will no longer be replays.
Eight FA Cup fixtures take place this weekend, spread across four days. Take a look at the full schedule...
FRIDAY 15 FEBRUARY
Queens Park Rangers v Watford (19:45 GMT)
SATURDAY 16 FEBRUARY
Brighton & Hove Albion v Derby County (12:30 GMT)
AFC Wimbledon v Millwall (15:00 GMT)
Newport County v Manchester City (17:30 GMT)
SUNDAY 17 FEBRUARY
Bristol City v Wolverhampton Wanderers (13:00 GMT)
Doncaster Rovers v Crystal Palace (16:00 GMT)
Swansea City v Brentford (16:00 GMT)
MONDAY 18 FEBRUARY
Chelsea v Manchester United (19:30 GMT)
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