It’s far from mission impossible, but Manchester United certainly have it all to do if they’re to beat Chelsea in their Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final clash at Stamford Bridge this evening.
No Zlatan Ibrahimovic, no Wayne Rooney, no Anthony Martial and no Marcus Rashford.
Jose Mourinho’s game plan has to be to frustrate his former employers as much as possible. We’ve seen it on plenty of occasions from the United boss in the past, and if anyone knows how to play for a draw – it’s him.
But unfortunately for the Red Devils, a winner will be decided tonight, with Replays scrapped from from this stage onwards in favour of 90 minutes with extra time and penalties if needed.
Will the visitors have enough in the tank to last potentially 120 minutes against the Premier League leaders?
In short, Man United’s record against Chelsea in recent years has been awful. They’ve not beaten the west London outfit in any of their last 11 meetings and have scored just three goals in their last nine against the Blues.
Four different players got on the scoresheet the last time this pair met as Chelsea breezed past Mourinho’s men.
And of that quartet of stars, you’d have to say Eden Hazard looks more likely to find the net again over the likes of Gary Cahill, N’Golo Kante and Pedro. It’s 15/8 for him to score at any time, while 6/1 says he nets the first of the game.
But it has to be said that even without the likes of Ibrahimovic, Rooney, Martial and Rashford, the visitors will be a tough nut to crack.
They’ve lost just one of their last 28 matches in all competitions – a run which has seen them keep up with the top four in the league, lift the EFL Cup and force themselves into the head of the market in the race for the Europa League trophy.
Were that to happen, there’s every chance the Special One could rally his troops for one final push in extra-time.
However, if Chelsea score early on (they’re 4/1 to be winning after 15 minutes), United’s game plan will go out the window and we could be looking at another thumping.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing