Manchester United vs Chelsea
The magic of the FA Cup and over the course of the last two decades, few sides have contributed to its glory more than Manchester United and Chelsea.
In fact, over the last 19 years, these sides have won it collectively 11 times between them (Chelsea seven, United four).
More FA Cup highlights surely await with revenge and physical fitness likely to play a role in this intriguing tie.
The laws of probability suggest Chelsea will prevail at Wembley.
After all, United have just completed their first league double over Chelsea since the 1987-88 season.
Throw in a League Cup quarter-final win at Stamford Bridge and it’s rare that one established club defeats another established club four separate times in the same campaign.
Furthermore, Chelsea have had 48 hours extra to prepare for what could be an energy-sapping occasion.
True, the form guide edges towards United but this will be their third game in less than a week, something which impacts on even the very best of professional sportsmen.
Indeed, signs of their recent verve were halted by a draw at home to Southampton on Monday night and they were pushed all the way before emerging victorious at Crystal Palace on Thursday.
Add into the mix two fairly rookie managers, both favourite sons of their respective clubs, and a rivalry which is best summed up by the fact the two clubs have won the most Premier League titles since it began in 1992, and all the ingredients are in place for an end-to-end difficult to predict encounter.
At the time of writing, it is a bit early for any team news, although there will be a serious question mark against United’s main left-backs as Luke Shaw and young Brandon Williams both missed the game against Palace through injury.
Chelsea would have received a boost this week to see new signing Hakim Ziyechtake part in his first full group training session with his new teammates at the club’s Cobham Training Centre.
The arrival of the Moroccan international will no doubt lift spirits – as a fresh face often does – although, of course, he can’t feature for the remainder of the current campaign.
This season, manager Frank Lampard has shown enormous faith – partly brought on by a transfer ban – in young players from Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount to Reece James and FikayoTomori.
Players who have justified the faith shown in them and helping the team maintain a top-four chase and reach the last four of the cup.
Can they reward him for that loyalty with a place in the FA Cup Final or will what I expect to be a much-changed United line-up, containing the likes of Sergio Romero, Jesse Lingard and on-loan OdionIghalo, win the day?
It will be compelling to find out.
So United have a 100 per cent record against Chelsea this term.
They enjoyed a 2-0 success at Stamford Bridge in February to complete a trio of victories.
They had met on the opening weekend of the league season at Old Trafford when Chelsea were the better side for an hour but ended up on the wrong end of a 4-0 thrashing.
Marcus Rashford scored twice in that game and also netted both, including a brilliant winner, at Stamford Bridge in October as United knocked Chelsea out of the League Cup.
Overall, United have triumphed 81 times against the west Londoners who have enjoyed success on 54 occasions. The other 51 matches have been draws.
This is a repeat of the Cup Final from two years ago which was won by an Eden Hazard penalty after Phil Jones was caught dithering in what turned out to be Antonio Conte’s final match in charge in west London.
|Manchester United vs Chelsea||Over 2.50 @ 2.11|
|July 20, 01:00 (GMT+8)|
The SBOBET FA Cup betting odds make United slight favourites but just as in the Premier League table,there’s little between the sides in the odds available.
United can be tipped 1X2 @ 2.32 or Asian Handicap -0.25 @ 2.08, while Chelsea are available to back 1X2 @ 2.96 and Asian Handicap 0.00 @ 2.21.
The draw is on offer @ 3.20.
Of course, if the sides are level after 90 minutes, extra-time will be played and there’s also the possibility of a penalty shoot-out.
Predicting a repeat of United’s League Cup victory from earlier this term – correct score 2-1 – would earn you a payday of @ 8.50.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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