Manchester United vs Chelsea FA Cup Preview

Manchester United vs Chelsea | Sunday 10 March | Old Trafford | 18:30

The FA Cup resumes this weekend with eight teams left to battle it out in the quarter-finals. Holders Chelsea were the last team to book their place in the fifth round to set up a mouth-watering clash with league leaders Manchester United. It promises to be a fascinating game, played out to a backdrop of differing subplots. There's a place at Wembley via the semi-finals up for grabs, while a Chelsea victory will give the Blues added impetus in the closing stages of the season. But above all else, it marks Benitez's return to Old Trafford. Given the history between the Spaniard and United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, he will be desperate to come away with a victory—not only for personal reasons, but also to silence the Chelsea fans who continuously boo and attempt to publicly ridicule him.


A few days before these sides were involved in a goal fest in the Capital One Cup—with Chelsea eventually winning 5-4—they had locked horns in the Premier League. United came out 3-2 winners but without Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic seeing red, it could have been much different. Plenty has happened on and off the pitch since then, notably with Benitez replacing Roberto Di Matteo in the Blues' dugout.

To Win (90mins)
Manchester United 15/20
Draw 27/10
Chelsea 36/10

Manchester United
Manchester United are 12 points clear of champions Manchester City at the top of the Premier League. Man United surprisingly didn’t rest some stars in their last league clash against Norwich last Saturday which they eased through with a 4-0 win. Shinji Kagawa was the man of the match, scoring a spectacular hat-trick, while Wayne Rooney rounded things off with a terrific long-range cracker in the 90th minute. United are in top form, and were on an unbeaten run that stretched all the way back to their defeat in the Champions League against CFR Cluj on December 5, until last night's robbery against Real Madrid. To find their last league defeat, you have to go back to November 17, against their latest opponents Norwich. No team has scored more goals than the league leaders, with 64 this season. They faced Reading in the fifth round of the FA Cup with Nani and Javier Hernandez spurring United to a 2-1 win. Home advantage will favour United as they have won 13 of their 14 league home matches at Old Trafford.

Chelsea 
Second-half goals from Ramires and Victor Moses secured FA Cup holders Chelsea a 2-0 fifth round win at second tier Middlesbrough last week which set up this mammoth quarter-final clash. Chelsea were taken to a replay by third-tier Brentford in the previous round. Victory in the fifth-round tie means Chelsea remain on course for what would be a fifth FA Cup title in seven seasons. They claimed a routine 1-0 win over West Brom last weekend as Rafa Benitez made a victorious Stamford Bridge return following his midweek criticism of the Blues supporters. It was Demba Ba's 28th-minute goal which saw fourth place Chelsea boost their hopes of playing in the Champions League this season.

VERDICT: Draw 27/10
Chelsea are playing some good football and will be a big threat at Old Trafford. However, United’s record at home looks too good to be beaten here and the draw is tipped.

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Written by @Wayde_D for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!