After the dreadful refereeing decision cost Manchester United their rightful place in the last eight of the Champions League in midweek, all attention is now directed towards another knockout competition in the shape of the FA Cup. Their opponents, Chelsea, are not the team they once were and are a declining force in the Premier League at the moment. However, they will still pose a threat as the FA Cup is the last competition that they can realistically win.
It is unlikely that Sir Alex will make many changes from the midweek team. However, one change that you can put your house on is Wayne Rooney to return to the first team. Whatever the real reasons behind his being benched for the match against Real Madrid, United will be glad of his services against Chelsea, a side which Rooney has had good scoring fortunes in recent years.
One of the more interesting things to come out of Sir Alex`s pre-match press conference, is that he sees Danny Welbeck as the main man now to do the double role. He was excellent against Alonso in both matches, choking off the supply to Ronaldo. That means that Rooney is seen as an out-and-out striker, so it may be that we see him on the bench a bit more often unless Sir Alex decides to play two up front.
One other interesting point was that alluding to Kagawa. Bearing in mind he had scored a hat trick in the previous match, it was surprising that nobody even mentioned the fact that he was not in the starting line-up against Real Madrid; having said that, we know from the press conference that he will play against Chelsea. Phil Jones will be out for another week and we do not know when Paul Scholes will return.
Despite the loss against Real, Chelsea knows that this is not a good time to be playing Manchester United at Old Trafford. They will be determined to get back to winning ways and they also know that a win will put them one game away from a Wembley final in May.
The double is still a reality and I expect that Manchester United will win this match with a degree of comfort. My prediction is 2-0.