Manchester United will take on Chelsea in the FA Cup this weekend, with both English powerhouses looking to assert their domestic dominance once more.
The Red Devils have excelled so far in the 2013 season—sitting well clear on top of the league table and only just eliminated from the Champions League during the week as well. And even that wasn't without it's controversy and fair share of talking points.
Chelsea, on the other hand, haven't had such a strong season, with elimination and managerial changes providing for a frustrating season.
They've already been eliminated from the Champions League—the first defending champions to do so in the group stage—and are one step from being out of the Europa League also. Couple that with their struggles for a top four spot and the replacement of Roberto Di Matteo with Rafa Benitez, and the Blues really haven't had a dream season in any competition this year.
However, that could all change here, with the West London club currently holding the title of reigning champion, having tasted success over Liverpool in 2012.
Who will win this FA Cup clash between two giants of world football? Read on for all the last-minute details, including live viewing, of this epic matchup.
Date: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Start time: 11:30 a.m. ET (4:30 p.m. local time)
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Live Stream and TV Info
According to Live Soccer TV, SiriusXM FC, Fox Soccer Channel and FOX Deportes will all show coverage of this epic 2013 FA Cup clash.
ITV 1, BBC Radio 5 Live and UTV will do the same throughout the United Kingdom.
FA Cup 2013 so Far
Manchester United very nearly were eliminated from the tournament in the third round at the hands of West Ham. The Red Devils needed a late goal from Robin van Persie just to equalize at 2-2 and force a return fixture, which they duly won 1-0 back at Old Trafford.
United then cruised through Fulham 4-1 in the fourth round and Reading 2-1 in the fifth round to set up this mouthwatering fixture with Chelsea, who too have struggled for consistency and dominant results throughout the knockout competition so far.
The Blues thumped Southampton 5-1 away from home in the third round but very nearly lost to lowly Brentford in the fourth round of competition. Fernando Torres was forced to come on and net the equalizing goal to send this game to a replay, which the Blues won 4-0 at home.
They then scored a 2-0 win over Middlesborough in the fifth round—leaving us with a top fixture to look forward to in the premier knockout competition.
Probable Starting Sides
The Guardian has released the respective team sheets for the match, which indicate the probable starting sides both teams will use in this one.
Key Stats to Consider
11. This fixture will be the 11th FA Cup meeting between these two teams. Manchester United have won eight of those 11 matches, though Chelsea did score a big win over the Red Devils in the 2007 Final, with a 1-0 extra time victory.
6. The last six meetings between these two teams have produced 30 goals.
20. Manchester United have won their last 20 games against English opposition in all competitions. Their last loss came against Norwich City in November.
Manchester United, at Old Trafford, are a tough team to go past in 2013—especially given how much their mid-week Champions League loss will have hurt.
The Red Devils will feel very hard done by after that one, and, regardless of whether they were or not, the reality is that they'll come into this one very fired up—especially against a big-name rival like Chelsea, who have challenged the Manchester club for English supremacy for some time now.
Chelsea aren't traveling brilliantly in 2013, but they'll be a very tough team to break down here. They have a strong and versatile midfield that will be fresh after being rested during the week and could come out and shock the home side in this one.
I say the West London club nab an early goal through Juan Mata, but after some mastery once more from United's attack, it's the Red Devils that will stay marching on in the competition, having snared a 2-1 victory on the night over the reigning champions.
Sir Alex Ferguson will feel somewhat vindicated after his "distraught" night during the week, whilst the pressure will remain right on Rafa Benitez for another week.
Prediction: Manchester United 2, Chelsea 1
What do you think will happen in Manchester United vs. Chelsea this week?
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