Preview: Man U, Chelsea FA Cracker

A depleted Manchester United team will today face a full Chelsea squad at Stamford Bridge in the ongoing FA Cup quarterfinal.

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has been ruled out of the FA cracker, leaving his side without a recognized striker.

Rooney collided with Phil Jones in training and misses out with a leg injury, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic begins a three-game ban for elbowing Bournemouth’s Tyrone Mings

Forwards Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford [illness] are also missing.

Chelsea coach Antonio Conte has a fully fit squad at his disposal. Bookmakers predict a Chelsea win.

Head-to-head

  • This is the 12th time the sides have been paired together in the FA Cup. Of the 11 previous ties, Manchester United have won eight and Chelsea three.
  • The Blues have prevailed in both ties since the turn of the century – winning 1-0 in the final in 2007 and 1-0 in a sixth-round replay at Stamford Bridge in 2013.
  • Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 11 league and cup games against United (W6, D5), and have only conceded three times in the last nine encounters.
  • The Reds have only won two of their last 19 league and cup games at Stamford Bridge (D6, L11).

Chelsea

  • The last time Chelsea knocked the FA Cup holders out was in 1966, when they beat Liverpool in round three.
  • The Blues have won 15 of their 16 home games under Antonio Conte in all competitions, including the last 12.
  • The only home match they failed to win this term was a 2-1 defeat by Liverpool on 16 September.
  • They have won nine of their last 10 FA Cup home games – with the exception being a 4-2 defeat by Bradford in 2015.
  • Chelsea have reached the FA Cup quarter-finals 12 times in the 21st century – more than any other side.
  • Pedro has scored in each round of this season’s FA Cup, scoring a total of four goals (also registering two assists).

Manchester United

  • The last time United lost an FA Cup tie away from Old Trafford was their 1-0 defeat by Chelsea in 2013.
  • The Reds have progressed in 10 of their last 13 FA Cup quarter-final ties.
  • Jose Mourinho has never lost an FA Cup quarter-final.
  • United’s 4-0 loss at Stamford Bridge in October was Mourinho’s heaviest defeat in English football – and his worst since his Real Madrid side lost 5-0 to Barcelona in 2010.
  • This will be United’s 46th competitive game of the season, but only Chelsea’s 34th.
  • Marcus Rashford has scored four goals in his six FA Cup appearances for Manchester United.

What the Managers Say

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte: “In October, before the game,(won by Chelsea 4-0)I was sure of facing a great team. It’s the same now. Manchester United have, together with [Manchester] City, the best squad in the league.

“We have a good identity. We are showing good football, but for sure it will be a really tough game against a good team.

“I hope to be favourites, but to show this on the pitch, not only in the words. The facts are on the pitch. We must talk during the game on the pitch, not before. I prefer to focus on the game, and my players to speak with facts.”

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho: “We cannot go with Nicky Butt’s team [ie players from the under-23 team, managed by Butt]. Manchester United is too big. Manchester United is the winner of the competition.

“It is not Chelsea’s fault that we were given this Monday match, so we have to make changes for sure… but we cannot go to Stamford Bridge with a Nicky Butt team.”