PMB: Chelsea v Manchester United - matchday

The final part of the Pre-Match Briefing gets you ready for today's game..

• Chelsea have three huge games in seven days. Malmo are in town just three days after this FA Cup game, and the Carabao Cup final against Man City is the following Sunday. Gianfranco Zola said on Friday the FA Cup is a trophy the holders want to retain, and a strong side will be put out. With alternate wins then defeats happening recently, consistency will need to be found over the coming week to achieve our aims.

• There is likely to be a recall for striker Gonzalo Higuain after Olivier Giroud’s goalscoring performance on Thursday. Man United and Man City are the two teams against whom David Luiz has scored two league goals. Eden Hazard has a record of two goals in four FA Cup games against the Red Devils.

• Man United suffered injuries to wide forwards Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial during Ole Gunnar Solkjaer’s first defeat, at home to PSG. Replacements in that game were Alexis Sanchez and Juan Mata.


• ‘Whoever feels sorry for themselves,’ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer warned after their PSG defeat, ‘they probably won’t play against Chelsea.’ In any case he may have to change his system in the absence of hard-working Lingard and Martial.

• In could come former Blue Romelu Lukaku, who has not scored in six weeks, and out-of-favour Sanchez. Both started in the round four victory against Arsenal.

• After some initial experiments, Solksjaer had been fielding a settled line-up in a 4-3-3, with a midfield trio of Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba. Previous United coaches have used Herrera to harass Eden Hazard but it would not be a surprise to see the Mancunians also applying special measures to Jorginho this evening.


Gianfranco Zola's pre-match quotes

'We know it’s a crucial moment, we have some very important matches. It’s very challenging and I think the key will be to face each task by only thinking about that task. The first is United and we come into the game after a good performance in the Europa League, that’s the most important thing.

‘We know we have to be consistent. It’s not the challenge, but it’s the unity facing the challenge which makes the difference and I believe we have that.'

Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s pre-match quotes

‘I went to see Chelsea against City and City were clinical, of course. But they've got some fantastic players, Chelsea as well. They could have scored two or three easily in the first half as well in that game. There are fine margins. They could easily have been two or three up against Bournemouth as well when they lost 4-0.

‘It's those little things that decide games. They have been up and down, but down there they're a tough team to play.’

Squad News

Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Danny Drinkwater


Manchester Utd
Mateo Darmian
Jesse Lingard
Anthony Martial
Marcos Rojo
Antonio Valencia




Matchday weather outlook

A cool but dry evening is forecast for west London.


- Follow the game in our Match Centre

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