Team news: Four hot takes from MUTV Group Chat
Manchester United's attention has turned to the fight for silverware and preparations to face Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup semi-final.
The two clubs have already played each other twice in the league this season, as well as in the Carabao Cup, resulting in three Reds victories.
However, the west London outfit head into this weekend's tie with 48 hours extra rest and recovery, following their 1-0 win over Norwich City on Tuesday, which is arguably a slight advantage.
So, would you alter our squad with that in mind? Would you leave regular starters on the bench?
On MUTV Group Chat this week, former midfielder Darren Fletcher admitted the extra couple of hours of rest may have an impact on Ole's selection.
"It’s a long time," the Scotsman explained. "Especially in this stage of the season when we’ve had lockdown, the players aren’t as fit, they’ve not had a proper pre-season and they’ve had a lot of games in a number of days. With United having the same team for five games in a row, I think that’s why we’ll see a couple of changes.
"It’s amazing what 24 hours makes in recovery, never mind 48 hours. But we’ve got a great record against Chelsea in recent times, so that’s a plus for us. We always seem to get a result against them recently, so the lads will be backing themselves. This is why you’ve got a big squad of talented players and Ole will be checking all the data and all the stats and putting the trust into the squad as well."
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"It’ll certainly give United the upper hand in the fact that we know how to beat them, we've done it three times already.
"We know that they’ve got a potent attack, as we have, but I just feel as though they are a lot more vulnerable at the back with the players that we’ve got running at them, more so than we are. The extra 48 hours that they get, I think, is very unfair, but that’s the way it’s worked out and sometimes that’s what you get. It has got the makings of a mouth-watering semi-final."
Danny Webber believes the FA Cup is an opportunity for some of United's young players and new recruits to get their hands on some long-awaited silverware.
"It is great for the young lads who haven’t won anything and the players who have come from the outside who haven’t won anything," he said. "It unifies the players that you’re on the right path. You win a trophy, it’s a great feeling, it’s one in the bank and then you obviously look forward to the following season.
"You’d want [to win] both, but I think we want to finish in the Champions League spot and make sure that we’re in it for next season."
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For Wes Brown, getting to the FA Cup semi-finals isn't something to take lightly.
The Reds have progressed past Wolverhampton Wanderers, Tranmere Rovers, Derby County and Norwich City to make it to this stage of the competition.
"I know there’s loads of games, but you’re there for a reason, we’re in the semi-final for a reason, and no matter what Ole will want to win that game and get us to the final.
“The stage we’re at in the FA Cup, we’ve got to try and win it, and we just hope that we don’t pick up any injuries, any knocks and then Ole can still put out his best team to win the game. If we win the FA Cup this season, everyone will be delighted.”
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The competition remains special for Fletcher.
It was his first major honour with United, when the Reds beat Millwall in 2004 and the Scotsman went on to lift the Premier League, League Cup, Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup during a golden period for Sir Alex Ferguson's side.
"In my first season we won the FA Cup against Millwall, so it is a massive thing for me. To get that feeling of winning, because at the end of the day, Manchester United is about winning trophies. Champions League football is massive.
"It means a lot to every player, it’s where you want to play, it’s where the club wants to be, it helps you attract players, it’s where all the best players in the world play, but let’s not forget, getting your hands on the silverware, getting that medal, being part of a winning team and going out and celebrating with a trophy is a massive feeling, a great feeling and it definitely would be amazing for Ole as well, for the manager to get some silverware at Manchester United, and that for me, a top-four finish and a trophy this season, the lads would be bouncing into next season, flying with confidence with a little bit of relieved pressure, showing what they’re about."
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