Last weekend saw Manchester United disrupt Arsenal’s bid for Champions League football. On Sunday, United welcome Chelsea to Old Trafford, another team desperate to be playing in Europe’s elite competition next season. Time for Ferguson and Benitez to lock horns again.
United have already joined the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich have already secured their place in next years Champions League. However, it is a very different story for Chelsea who face a fight to finish inside the Premier League’s top four.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea
Chelsea may be more desperate for points going into this clash but United have a point to prove after being dumped out of both domestic cups by Rafael Benitez’s men – something that would of no doubt helped his CV.
Exiting the FA Cup after letting slip a two goal lead would have frustrated a lot of United’s players as well as fans, especially the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick who are running out of time to taste FA Cup glory.
Danny Welbeck will miss the game with a knee problem but there is some good news on the injury front with Paul Scholes expected to be named on the bench. Javier Hernandez will be pushing for a rare start and the Mexican has a great record against the European Champions with five goals in his last seven outings.
Eden Hazard is a doubt for Chelsea after coming off with a knock during Thursday night’s Europa League semi-final second leg victory over Basel whilst Demba Ba is expected to take the place of Fernando Torres upfront. The Senegalese man proved the difference the last time the sides met when his acrobatic finish ended United’s chances of winning the double.
With the Premier League record points tally now out of reach the only real motivation for Fergie’s men will be avenging the two defeats sustained against the blues this season. With the FA Cup defeat still fresh in the minds of many, it is easy to forget that victory in the Carling Cup fourth round was also squandered. Scott Wootton clumsily bundled into Ramires conceding a penalty which took the game into extra time. The game was eventually lost 5-4 in an action packed match. Something similar this weekend would be appreciated, the only exception being a United victory of course.
What do you think the score will be?