Monday 18 February: 7.30pm KO

Live on BBC1

The FA Cup fifth round hasn’t exactly been packed with glamorous ties. That’s what happens when Premier League teams play reserve teams and get knocked out. The final game of the round sees Chelsea host Manchester United with both teams having something to prove after recent setbacks.

Latest Odds

This is a repeat of last season’s FA Cup Final that saw Chelsea win by an Eden Hazard penalty. Now the two sides meet in the fifth round of this year’s competition and it’s the start of a busy week for Chelsea and their manager Maurizio Sarri.

The Italian is under pressure after recent poor results that saw his team hammered at both Bournemouth and Manchester City. They bounced back with a 2-1 win at Malmo in the Europa League but Sarri is still on thin ice. This week it’s not just the FA Cup tie against Manchester United but on Sunday they play Manchester City in the final of the Carabao Cup.

A good week could save Sarri’s job but a couple of bad results would most likely doom him. He’s 1/1 (2.0) with Paddy Power to be the next Premier League manager to leave his club.

The fact this cup tie is being played at Stamford Bridge is important for Chelsea. It’s their away form that has been most worrying for them in recent weeks. Their last home game saw them beat lowly (aka rubbish) Huddersfield Town 5-0. Chelsea have won their last five home matches but only the Carabao Cup win over Tottenham was against a decent team. The odds on Chelsea winning this match in 90 minutes are 21/20 (2.05) at Betfred.

Manchester United finally discovered last week what it’s like to lose under Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. Their Champions League hopes look dead and buried after a 2-0 home loss to PSG. More importantly though they are up to fourth in the Premier League and still in the FA Cup.

United haven’t lost away from home since the arrival of Solksjaer with 15 goals scored. Their interim boss will have his credentials for the permanent job severely tested in the coming week with this tie being followed by a home league match against Liverpool. The odds on a Manchester United win in 90 minutes are 11/4 (3.75).

Head-to-Head

Manchester United haven’t won at Stamford Bridge since 2012. They have only won one of their last four games against Chelsea but nearly beat them earlier this season. They led 2-1 at Stamford Bridge before an injury time equalizer. Chelsea are unbeaten in their last five FA Cup ties against United last losing to them in 1999.

Team News

Manchester United will be without the injured Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial. Chelsea are also expected to make changes with some fringe players getting their chance.

Skopje, FYROM – August 8,2017: Manchester United Paul Pogba during the UEFA Super Cup Final match between Real Madrid and Manchester United at Philip II Arena in Skopje

1-0 Perhaps?

The last three FA Cup games between these two sides have ended in 1-0 wins for Chelsea. The odds on that being the score in this tie are 15/2 (8.5) at BetVictor.

Over 2.5 Goals More Likely

The last six Chelsea games in all competitions have had over 2.5 goals scored in them and the last four at Stamford Bridge. Manchester United are regular scorers under Solksjaer and 13 of their last 16 away games have had over 2.5 goals scored. It’s 4/5 (1.8) at SkyBet that we get to see at least three goals in this cup tie.

United Clean Sheet?

At one time this season Manchester United were finding it difficult to keep clean sheets. That’s changed and on their travels, United have kept four clean sheets in their last five away matches. You can get odds of 7/2 (4.5) on them not conceding at Stamford Bridge.

Prediction

This should be a fascinating cup tie. Both teams haven’t had the best time in the last week or so. Chelsea are strong at home but United have been impressing on their travels. A bet on a draw looks good and the odds are 13/5 (3.4) at Betfair.

Published by Steve Ashfield

Steve is a self-employed freelance writer with years of experience writing about everything from sport to politics. He loves his statistics and quotes them at every opportunity.

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