Sunday 10th March 2013
Kick Off 16:30
Providing the competition with a much-needed shot in the arse after all the giant killing of the early rounds had begun to peter out, this glamour tie is the pick of the FA Cup Quarter finals. Blackburn v Millwall isn’t.
The good news here is that United v Chelsea games of late have been MENTAL! And by that I don’t mean Darren Fletcher started hurling human mess at the linesman or John Terry failed to go up for a corner because he was getting discretely tromboned by a female fan mid game - nothing like that. I just mean there’s been quite a lot of goals – the last six meetings have seen 30 of the buggers fly in with 14 of those coming in the last two ties.
Going on the dubious logic of FA Cup form in isolation of any other facts, this is surely Chelsea’s game. The mighty Blues are on a record run of 27 FA Cup games without defeat and therefore will crush United to a pulp.
Ignoring that for a second and going on the slightly more reliable indicator of recent form, United look good for the win here as Chelsea have won just five of their last 12 games in all comps and look like they’d very much like the season to end now. United on the other hand, last lost domestically in the middle of November.
One interesting side note to this clash is that it re-stokes one of the most amusing rivalries in English footy, Rafa v Fergie, for the first time since 2010. The tubby Spanish one hasn’t tended to come out of these too well, often winning the battle on the pitch but not the war and coming unstuck with the whole mind games lark due to the fact that he’s never quite nailed sarcasm. His infamous ‘fachts’ and ‘27,000 people’ rants being prime examples of this. He tries though and whilst he’s often fishing in the right pond with his smack talk, he does so with a piece of scaffolding that’s got a couple of shoe laces tied to one end and no hook. Bless.
Anyway Fergie got things off to a nice start this morning when he offered one of those backhanded jibes of his by opting not to criticise his opposite number. The purple nosed crank observed, ‘I'm not going to kick anyone when they're lying down. It's not my style.’ Ouch. I await with baited breath a suitably bizarre response.
The big question on the pitch will be whether Wayne Rooney gets a game after being benched for the Madrid clash. There seemed to be a whole heap of 2+2-789 journalism this week in the wake of that decision, with all of the papers yesterday sure as hell that this was the end of Rooney’s career at Old Trafford. Fergie’s quotes this morning that, 'Wayne will be here next year, you have my word on that’ have rather pissed on that parade. That shuffling you can just about hear is the likes of Oli Hoult and co attempting a mass climb down as quietly as possible from their ill informed position.
‘There is no issue between myself and Wayne Rooney. To suggest we don’t talk is nonsense.’ Fergie continued before adding with a roar, ‘HE’LL NEVER LEAVE! OVER MY DEAD BODY YOU BLOOD SUCKING LOWLIFES.’
I imagine Wazza will get a start along with Javier Hernandez as RVP looks in need of a rest - his scoring exploits have slowed notably in recent weeks. The forgotten Mexican has a devil of a good record against Chelsea, scoring 5 in his last 6 (put all of you money on him to score – ALL OF IT). Talking of form, Juan Mata, as ever, will be the man to mark for United as his FA Cup record is a little bit silly - five goals and seven assists in 10 appearances. There’s sod all to report on the injury front with just Oriol Romeu, Paul Scholes and Phil Jones not available for selection.
For Chelsea expect Demba Ba to replace the abysmal Torres and Garry Cahill should slot into the backline, as the likelihood of Terry managing two starts in four days is slim.
With this game taking place at Old Trafford and considering the two side’s relative form, I’m afraid this one has a United win written all over it. Let’s say 2-1 eh?
Where can I catch this?
As the old adage goes – he who watches footy matches by himself at home on a measly screen is a bell end. Bearing that sage advice in mind I’d seriously recommend finding a sweet boozer to watch this in with some pals. It’s not rocket science and we’ve made things nice and easy for you by laying on over 400 pubs nationwide that will be showing it. Follow this link, pop in your location and POW! we’ll show you the nearest pub to you broadcasting the big game.
For those of you in West London searching for a top pub to watch Manchester United v Chelsea in and grab a decent bite to eat while your at it, in we’d strongly recommend getting down to the Anglesea Arms in South Kensington. They do plenty o’ ale and some superb tucker. Check em out.