Opposition guide: Chelsea
Manchester United are set to face Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup for the fourth season in a row, when we lock horns with the Blues in Sunday’s semi-final showdown.
Sunday’s tie will be the fourth time we’ve played Chelsea this season, with the Reds winning each of the previous three encounters.
Ahead of the fourth meeting, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about the opposition…
The Blues are without influential midfielder N'Golo Kante for this clash. The Frenchman has picked up a hamstring issue that looks set to keep him out for a few weeks, while youngster Billy Gilmour will likely miss out due to a knee problem. Centre-back Andreas Christensen was forced off at half-time in Chelsea’s recent defeat to Sheffield United, suffering from a knock. The Dane was then an unused substitute for the Londoners’ midweek win over Norwich City and might not be fit for Sunday. Goalkeeper Willy Caballero has played in three of Chelsea’s four FA Cup games this season, but with first-choice stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga getting the nod in the fifth-round tie against Liverpool, the latter may well be selected to start at Wembley.
It’s been something of a mixed bag for Chelsea since football’s resumption last month. The Blues have enjoyed impressive wins over Manchester City and Watford, but have also suffered disappointing losses to West Ham United and Sheffield United. The Blues warmed up for Sunday with a less-than-convincing 1-0 win over relegated Norwich City in midweek. Chelsea’s form also suggests extra-time and penalties are unlikely in this one - Lampard’s men haven’t drawn any of their eight matches in all competitions since Project Restart.
HOW DID THEY GET TO THE SEMIS?
Chelsea began their 2019/20 FA Cup campaign with a 2-0 third-round victory over Nottingham Forest, courtesy of goals from Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ross Barkley. They faced Championship opposition again at the next stage and sneaked past Hull City thanks to a 2-1 win. Liverpool stood in the Blues’ way in the fifth round, but Lampard’s men got the better of the Merseysiders with a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge. Last time out, Ross Barkley’s third FA Cup goal of the season proved to be the difference between Chelsea and Leicester City and ensured the eight-time champions once again qualified for the semi-finals.
We haven’t suffered defeat at the hands of the Blues since we last met at Wembley, in the 2018 FA Cup final. This will also be our 17th meeting against Chelsea in football’s oldest cup competition and we eliminated them from last season’s FA Cup courtesy of goals from Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba in a 2-0 fifth-round win. Overall, we’ve played Chelsea 186 times in all competitions, have won 78, drawn 55 and lost 53.
Frank Lampard took over the reins at Stamford Bridge last summer after a year in charge of Derby County. The former midfielder is a Chelsea legend and the club’s all-time record goalscorer, while only four players in Premier League history have netted more goals than Lampard. In his first season as Chelsea manager, the 42-year-old has successfully integrated several youth-team graduates - such as Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Reece James - into the senior set-up. He has also guided the Blues to third in the Premier League table, with two games remaining, and helped them progress to the last-16 of the Champions League earlier in 2019/20.
After a tough start to life in England, Christian Pulisic has impressed since football’s resumption. The winger, who can play on either flank, has scored three goals and provided three assists in his last seven league games. With lightning-fast speed, trickery and excellent crossing, the USA international has established himself as a mainstay in the Chelsea team of late. Attacker Olivier Giroud is also in good form and has scored three in his last four appearances, including the winner last time out against Norwich.
We are all United as the Reds go marching on! On sale now, get your 2019/20 kit while stocks last.