FA Cup: Arsenal vs Manchester United: Preview, Probable XI, and Prediction

FA Cup: Arsenal vs Manchester United: Preview, Probable XI, and Prediction

Unai Emery’s Arsenal welcomes Manchester United to the Emirates Stadium on Friday night in the fourth round of the FA Cup. 


With 25 FA Cups between them, Arsenal and Manchester United are the two most successful sides in the competition. Their previous clashes have provided the tournament with some of its most iconic moments; and with both of them full of confidence coming into the tie, we expect them to make a few new memories, tonight.

ARSENAL

The London club have done quite well under their new boss, Unai Emery. Yes, they are yet to break into the Premier League top-four, but they certainly are in contention. Ahead of Arsenal’s weekend clash against local rivals, Chelsea, Unai Emery asked his men to show intent, claiming a defeat would practically end their top-four challenge. The players responded in the best possible way and produced one of their best performances of the season to beat Chelsea 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

Having already crashed out of the Carabao Cup, the FA Cup and Europa League are the only two trophies the Gunners can practically aim for, this season. They have a relatively good record against fellow Premier League clubs, winning 12 of their last 13 ties, with the only defeat coming against Watford in the 2015/16 campaign.

The Gunners will be without Hector Bellerin, who has been ruled out for up to nine months with a knee injury. Former Manchester United pair, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Danny Welbeck, as also sidelined with ankle injuries. Rob Holding (knee injury) will also miss the tie.

Projected XI (4-1-2-1-2): 

Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Koscielny, Kolasinac; Xhaka; Torreira, Guendouzi; Ozil; Lacazette, Aubameyang

 

Unai Emery on Manchester United: 

“It’s a different team. It’s the same players but they’re playing with a big performance now,” as quoted by BBC.

“I was watching their last matches and each player has a lot of confidence, with big performances, and now they are very dangerous.”

“For us, it’s good because it’s a very big test for us in this competition.”

MANCHESTER UNITED

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has really turned the club’s fortunes around. Since replacing Jose Mourinho at the helm, the Norwegian has overseen seven consecutive victories across all competitions. Following last week’s 2-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion, Manchester United find themselves tied with Arsenal on fifth and within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea.

To be fair, the Norwegian still hasn’t faced many stern tests in his managerial career, but he, certainly, has done enough to be lauded for Manchester United’s evident improvement. He has brought back the enthusiasm that the team lacked under Jose Mourinho. The Red Devils have scored 19 goals in their last 7 seven matches, conceding just 4 – a proper indication of Solskjaer’s commendable work.

Solskjaer doesn’t have any injury concerns as of now but is expected to give Marcus Rashford and David de Gea a little breather. Alexis Sanchez will start against his former team, while Luke Shaw is also fit to feature after recovering from illness.

Projected XI (4-3-3): 

Romero, Young, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw, Matic, Herrera, Pogba, Lingard, Rashford, Sanchez

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Arsenal: 

“That’s the one fierce football rivalry of my years here as a player.”

“We were always the closest rivals. They won the double, we won the treble. The games were just fantastic.”

“We had a great team, and they had a very good team. There were some tackles flying in between the two teams. They were fantastic games.”

PREDICTION

On paper, this seems like a pretty even contest. 13time champions, Arsenal, will be desperate for a win, but Manchester United’s winning-momentum could end up knocking them off their porch.

We predict a 2-1 win for the Red Devils.

Chelsea VS Manchester United, Match Prediction | Premier League

Chelsea VS Manchester United, Match Prediction | Premier League

Premier League: Chelsea VS Manchester United | Stamford Bridge | 5 PM IST


The Premier League is back in action after the International Break as free-flowing Chelsea host a still-turbulent Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea have been in top form, and the Blues have looked spectacular under their new Coach, while Manchester United despite coming from behind against Newcastle in a tremendous 3 – 2 win at Home, is still not a convincing team, let alone Title Contenders.

Jose Mourinho will be returning to Stamford Bridge where he has won so much with Chelsea, but on the other hand, he’s yet to get a result at the Bridge with Manchester United. It promises to be an exciting encounter with Chelsea looking to keep their momentum going while United will be hoping to get something out of this game.

Team News: Chelsea

Antonio Rudiger has been influential for the Blues at the back, and the German International may not feature against Manchester United after he pulled his groin during the dying minutes of the 3 – 0 win against Southampton. Ethan Ampadu is also sidelined with a knee injury. Up Front Sarri will have to choose between Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata. The Italian Manager has more often than not gone with Giroud as his first choice but considering Morata has scored two goals in his last two appearances may just tip the balance in the Spaniard’s favour.

Predicted XI: Kepa, Alonso, Cahill, Luiz, Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Barkley, Kante, Hazard, Morata, Pedro

Team News: Manchester United

United are still waiting on the fitness of multiple players. Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic, and Scott McTominay are all doubts for the Chelsea game. Marouane Fellaini is most likely ruled out with an apparent Hamstring injury. Diogo Dalot is also a doubt while Marcos Rojo remains a long-term absentee for the Red Devils. Alexis Sanchez has made a case to return to the starting line-up after scoring the last minute winner, bringing back memories of Fergie time. 

Predicted XI: De Gea, Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Valencia, Pogba, Fred, Herrera, Sanchez, Lukaku, Martial

Key Players for Chelsea: Eden Hazard

The Belgian has been instrumental for Chelsea and is top of the Premier League goalscoring charts with 7 goals in 8 games. United will have to try to shut the Belgian down or else he may just single-handedly take the game away from them.

Key Players for Manchester United: Romelu Lukaku

Another Belgian makes the Key Player list! Lukaku may be dropping hints of a move to Juventus, but the Belgian is still a United player and is a pretty damn efficient striker. He will be looking to score against former club Chelsea and try to cause an upset.

The ones that got away: Top 5 Players Chelsea Should never have let go.

Top 5 Players Chelsea

With Thibaut Courtois on the verge of leaving Chelsea and rumors resurfacing about Willian’s exit to Manchester United, this list seems appropriate. So here are the top 5 Players Chelsea Should never have let go.

5. Thorgan Hazard

The lesser known as Hazard, Thorgan was a Chelsea player as well, signed from Lens a month after the blues Signed brother Eden from Lille. Thorgan was a part of Chelsea’s Loan army for three seasons before being sold to Borussia Moenchengladbach. Now 25 years old, Thorgan has just come off a great Season with Moenchengladbach scoring 10 Goals and assisting 5 in the Bundesliga. In retrospect, he could’ve been a great addition to the Chelsea team considering Willian and Pedro have entered the twilight of their careers.

4. Nemanja Matic

Antonio Conte and Chelsea opted to sign Tiemoue Bakayoko after his stellar season at Monaco. Nemanja Matic who had been excellent for Chelsea over the Seasons was shipped off to Man United for 40 Million Pounds. In the end, it was evidently the wrong decision as Bakayoko was as effective as a sweater in the summer.

3. Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku was a Chelsea player, considering he idolized Didier Drogba as a kid it seemed like an obvious move as a teenager to move to Stamford Bridge. Lukaku did exceedingly well while out on Loan at West Brom and Everton but could never replicate those performances for Chelsea. He was sold to Everton in 2014 for 28 Million Pounds. Four years on, Lukaku is Manchester United’s most expensive player, has scored 20 Goals in all competitions and is Belgium’s all-time Top Goalscorer.

More on Lukaku- Romelu Lukaku- Talent his passport away from Poverty

2. Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne like most young Chelsea players was sent out on Loan in 2012. De Bruyne made an impact while on Loan at Werder Bremen scoring 10 goals and was a part of Jose Mourinho’s first team squad for the 2013/14 Season. But due to differences with Mourinho, he was sold to Wolfsburg in 2014 for 18 Million Pounds. De Bruyne is probably the best Midfielder in the Premier League now and has tormented his former club on Multiple occasions with his performances.

1. Mohamed Salah

This one probably hurt the most. 47 games, 43 goals, and 12 assists. To put things in perspective, Chelsea sold the Egyptian to Roma for 15 Million Euros after he scored 15 Goals in his debut Season. Salah was the Best player in the Premier League last season, That’s got to hurt eh Blues?

FIFA World Cup 2018: Top 5 Golden Ball Contenders

Top 5 Golden Ball Contenders

With the Quarter-Finals drawing to a close and the Semi-Finals knocking on our door, predictions for not only the coveted trophy but also for the Individual Honours have started coming in. So here’s our list of the top 5 contenders for the Golden Ball.

5. Kylian Mbappe (France)

A 180 Million euro move to PSG, 3 Goals in his Debut World Cup and he’s still a teenager. Kylian Mbappe is the Future of football, and the teenager has now proved his credentials at the global stage.  The French forward will have to contribute with assists as well because FIFA looks at all-round performance for this award.

4. Antoine Griezmann (France)

The Atletico Madrid striker has always been consistent for Les Blues, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup hasn’t been any different. With three Goals and one assist, Griezmann has been France’s best player and his performance against Uruguay sealed France’s berth in the Semi-Finals.

3. Harry Kane (England)

Kane is England’s star man and could very well take England to World Cup Glory. Six goals in the Tournament and with at least one more game to go Kane may very well find the net. Watch out for England’s ‘HurriKane’… It may come home after all.

2. Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)

Lukaku has been clinical in every game and has even proven his creativity in the last two games registering an assist and virtually creating Belgium’s crucial winner against Japan with his brilliant movement off the ball. 

1. Eden Hazard (Belgium)

Hazard has been nothing short of brilliant in this World Cup, he’s scored two goals and created two but these numbers don’t tell us the whole story. Hazard has been unselfish, composed and lead from the front, he has completed 20+ dribbles and has pulled the strings for this revolutionary Belgian side.