Manchester United Starting XI Prediction at Chelsea FC (FA Cup)

fa cup

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be managing his 13th match in charge at Manchester United on Monday night, but this will be his first one where he’s coming off a loss. Solskjaer will be leading United into Stamford Bridge to take on FA Cup holders Chelsea in a fifth round clash that serves as a rematch of last year’s final.

The Norwegian harkened back not to that match, but 20 years ago when the baby faced assassin, then a player with United, was a part of the very historical Sir Alex Ferguson led side that won at Chelsea in the FA Cup semifinal; on their way to really big things.

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Man United at Chelsea FA Cup Injury Report: Lingard, Martial, Sanchez, Loftus-Cheek

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Last FA Cup, Chelsea defeated Manchester United in the tournament final; this time they’ll meet in the fifth round with both sides very hungry to win a trophy. For Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri, his seat is scorching hot right now and holding on to a trophy is a good way to try and cool it.

For United caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, winning a trophy would help strengthen his case that the interim label should be stripped off his job title at the end of the season. In order to get there however, he’ll need to completely revamp his plan of attack.

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Ole Gunnar Solskajer Rules Out Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard for 2-3 Weeks

jesse-lingard

Manchester United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer dropped a bombshell at his press conference today- young stellar forwards Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard will be out injured for 2-3 weeks; meaning they’ll miss both the FA Cup 5th round clash at Chelsea Monday night and the league clash at home against Liverpool next weekend.

Both suffered muscular injuries in the loss to Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night. For Martial, it’s a groin issue and with Lingard a hamstring problem. It turns out the home loss to PSG in midweek damaged a lot more than just United’s UEFA Champions League campaign.

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Manchester City Starting XI Prediction at Newport County (FA Cup 5th Round)

Manchester City have a real solid chance of winning a treble this season, and if we’re really going glass half full, a long shot opportunity to enter the rarified air of accomplishing a quadruple. Go here for more on that. The next step is to win on Saturday at Newport County, a tiny club that resides in 15th place in the fourth tier of English football.

Four days after this clash comes a restart of their UEFA Champions League campaign, as the Citizens will visit German side FC Schalke in the first leg of their round of 16 tie. Then four days after that another meeting with Chelsea, in the EFL Cup final. With so much fixture congestion, expect Sky Blues boss Pep Guardiola to heavily rotate his squad.

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Manchester City at Newport County Injury Report: Kompany, Mendy, Bravo, O’Brien, Labadie

manchester city

Manchester City heads to Newport County tomorrow for the first ever meeting in the FA Cup between the two sides and the first contest in any competition since City beat Newport in a 1962 League Cup clash. Newport County Association Football Club, based in Newport, South Wales, are currently in 15th place of League Two, the fourth tier of English football.

Obviously, they are massive underdogs in this fifth round clash and one should expect City manager Pep Guardiola to do a lot of squad rotation in this one. He’ll have one eye on this match, and another on what is ahead- their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie at FC Schalke four days later and the League Cup final four days after that.

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Alexandre Lacazette Apologies to Arsenal Fans After Bate Shock Gunners

alexandre lacazette

Arsenal were absolutely shocked tonight in UEFA Europa League action as they fell 1-0 at Bate Borisov, a tiny Belarusian club. Bate has just a tiny fraction of the resources that the London giants do, but here they are heading to London a week from tonight up 1-0 on aggregate in the round of 32 tie.

The misery is compounded by the fact that one of their primary weapons, striker Alexandre Lacazette, was sent off in the 85′ and will now miss the next leg due to his red card. Lacazette threw an elbow late, and the call was very cut and dry. He was well aware of his being in the wrong and issued an apology to fans via social media:

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Despite Awful Season and Recruiting Misses, Chris Collins Seat at Northwestern Very Cool

chris collins

The “program momentum,” if you believe such things actually exist in college basketball, is long gone now at Northwestern. Yes, they made their first ever NCAA Tournament two years ago, and achieved the school’s first ever tournament win to boot, but that might as well be ancient history today. 

Today’s mood is the polar opposite of 2017 March Madness as Chris Collins now faces a very real danger of finishing dead last in the Big Ten for the first time in his career. Barring a miracle turnaround down the stretch, NU will be forced to play on the first night of the Big Ten tournament and an under. 500 overall record for fourth time in Collins’ six seasons seems very likely. In three of his five seasons at the helm, the Cats have finished 10th in the league.

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Ed Woodard Expresses Gratitude to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Comments on Manager Search

ed-woodward

Happy Valentine’s Day Manchester United fans- embrace the holiday spirit by reading and analyzing the news surrounding Club CEO Ed Woodward holding an investor conference call today. After all, what’s more romantic than some fiscal ledger sheets?

That’s a little joke of course, but in all seriousness, Woodward did make a lot of news today, by finally breaking his silence on the topic of the managerial and football director searches. Woodward, whose official title is Executive Vice President, sacked Jose Mourinho on December 19, and appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer interim boss for the rest of the season the very next day.

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Mesut Ozil Approves of Social Media Post Questioning Unai Emery

mesut ozil

Whatever the issue is between Arsenal manager Unai Emery and midfielder Mesut Ozil, it does not appear to be resolving itself. If anything, it seems to be only worsening as the highest paid player in club history was left out of the squad that will take on Bate Borisov tonight in the first leg of a round of 32 UEFA Europa League tie.

Ozil did not even travel with the team, and this season has seen him benched or even omitted from match day squads when healthy for reasons unspecified. Emery has been mostly evasive when asked about the German international’s omission, and on the occasions that he’s provided an answer, it has tended to keep evolving.

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Maurizio Sarri Says He Hasn’t Spoken to Roman Abramovich Since Man City Debacle

In his prematch press conference ahead of his side’s visit to Malmo, for a Europa League round of 32 clash, Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri said he has not heard from club owner Roman Abramovich since the disaster at Manchester City last weekend. City thrashed Chelsea 6-0 this past Sunday, prompting speculation that Sarri’s job could be in danger.

Abramovich is known for not having a whole lot of patience with his managers, but after the game Sarri said on Sunday that he would welcome a conversation with his ultimate boss. He also said that he never really hears from the Russian oligarch, but on Wednesday Sarri said those comments were mistranslated.

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Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Alexis Sanchez Doubts for Chelsea FA Cup Clash

anthony-martial

Manchester United play their second of three straight matches against big money, brand name clubs when they visit Chelsea for a FA Cup fifth round clash on Monday night. The Red Devils will hope that their attack, and with it the result will be much better than last time out, a disastrous 2-0 loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the home leg of their UEFA Champions League knockout round tie.

Anthony Martial was very uncharacteristically in poor form before leaving early due to injury. Jesse Lingard also had an injury force him into an early exit. Both will be further assessed as kickoff draws closer, but as of now the pair are very serious doubts for the Chelsea clash.

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Arsene Wenger Reveals he Tried to Bring Jadon Sancho to Arsenal

jadon sancho

Long time former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed Wednesday night that he tried to bring Jadon Sancho to north London while the young Englishman was still with Manchester City. The Borussia Dortmund winger left City for Dortmund in August of 2017, on a transfer fee reported to be about £8 million.

Sancho was struggling to get major minutes with the Citizens, and Wenger hoped then that the chance to come home would be appealing have enough appeal to get the deal done. Sancho has been sensational at BVB, leapfrogging Christian Pulisic in the pecking order for the side leading the Bundesliga.

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