Arch Rivals Clash In FA Cup Blockbuster

Image courtesy of AFP.
Wayne Rooney has been the subject of transfer talk this week. Image courtesy of AFP
After its controversial loss to Real Madrid midweek in the UEFA Champions League, Manchester United can now focus its energy and anger on toppling arch rival Chelsea  in their FA Cup sixth round match-up on Monday morning (AEDT). The fury following Nani’s nonsensical send-off is still simmering at Old Trafford, and the Blues are set to walk in to a firestorm in the standout quarter-final match-up.

What part star front man Wayne Rooney plays on Monday morning (AEDT) remains to be seen with talk United could offload the England international in the off-season. Rooney has two years to run on his contract, but he was left on the bench for most of the match against Real, sparking talk of a falling out between him and manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Chelsea has won this trophy four times in the past six years, including the 2007 title when they beat United 1-0 at Wembley. The west London side comes in to this game with plenty of uncertainty surrounding its future after manager Rafael Benitez confirmed he will step down at the end of the season. Given his team sits in fourth spot and needs to maintain that position to qualify for next year’s Champions League, Benitez may have his priorities elsewhere when it comes to the FA Cup.

Both teams had to survive replays to make it through to this stage of the Cup. The Red Devils survived a scare against Reading winning 2-1, while Chelsea got past Championship outfit Middlesborough 2-0 . The teams played out a phenomenal match in the League Cup in October with Chelsea getting up 5-4 in extra time, but that was just three days after United beat the Blues 3-2  at Stamford Bridge in the EPL.

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