Chelsea and Manchester United will face each other on Monday (March 13) in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup. The duel will take place at Stamford Bridge and furthermore, the “Red Devils” will not have the Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the field.
Chelsea currently has a 10-point lead in the Premier League’s standings. With Antonio Conte in command, the team will confront Manchester United for the FA Cup quarterfinals.
“At Chelsea and all the teams I’ve led, I’ve shown that I live in the sport with tremendous passion,” Conte said on Friday. “Sometimes I want to share my enthusiasm, my passion, my players, the staff, the fans. I think it’s normal,” he added.
Some rival coaches do not like the enthusiasm of the Italian strategist Antonio Conte, especially his archrival, Manchester United’s helmsman Jose Mourinho.
Jose Mourinho lamented on the precarious situation dealt by Manchester United in the upcoming match with Chelsea given the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was suspended for three matches for nudging a defender in the match against Bournemouth.
“We have three days and we have to travel. We have to go to London; it’s really difficult we do not have Zlatan, but we’re going with everything we have. We are not going to line up a weak team like other teams do. Manchester United cannot do that,” stated Mourinho.
He further added, “We know that the Europa League is very important for us, and the FA Cup is beautiful. We cannot carry a team, we will try to manage the squad and use a good lineup to compete with them.”
Manchester United will face the current leader of the Premier League, the star team of the FA Cup. Could this encounter serve as a successful opportunity for Mourinho to take his revenge on Conte who thrashed him five months ago when Chelsea outmaneuvered Manchester United with a rather humiliating scoreboard of 4-0?
Jose Mourinho reproached Conte’s celebratory attitude after his team humiliated United. In view of the upcoming match which has certain underpinnings of hostility raging between the two teams, coaches of both teams have calmed the uneasy atmosphere.
“In October, we were sure to take on a great team and now, we’re going to do the same. Together with City, they are the best squad of the Premier,” remarked Antonio Conte about the Red Devils.
Monday’s match would be a tough pill for Manchester United to swallow. It seems that the odds are in Chelsea’s favor. While Rooney remains out with Martial injured and Rashford sick, Chelsea has all its key players at its disposal.
The match is crucial for both teams and the winner of the two will win a ticket to Wembley and face Manchester City, Arsenal, and Tottenham in the semifinals. English football will be at its finest in a matter of weeks.
“Our Cup opponents are enjoying a long streak without losing in the Premier League that goes back to October and has taken them from sixth place to sixth place.” Having said this, Chelsea has warmed the spirits of Manchester United fans in the pre-match that looms over both teams in the quarterfinals round of the FA Cup.
Such statements have incited a lot of controversy over the past few days. Mourinho certainly did not like the deriding remarks which were also previously bolstered by his rival, Antonio Conte. As a result of the controversy that ensued, the Blues decided to take back their remarks and in addition, the text recalled that Manchester United’s last defeat against Chelsea featured a match where the former team, under Mourinho, suffered a 4-0 defeat.
Will Monday’s match be the perfect opportunity for Mourinho to avenge and redeem United’s tainted reputation? The odds don’t seem to be favoring the Red Devils, however, the team cannot be underestimated at any level. Only time will tell which team prevails over the other.
[Featured Image by Julian Finney/Getty Images]