This looks like a clash of Premier League heavyweights but Manchester United's form far outstrips Chelsea's and, with the double now their main aim, Lee Dixon is backing a home win...
Chelsea must be fearing a Manchester United backlash on Sunday afternoon after the league leaders were dumped out of Europe in controversial circumstances in midweek.
The Champions League dream is over for another season at Old Trafford but the Reds will be chasing the league and cup double very hard from now on. The best clubs very rarely produce two bad results in quick succession and I have to side with the home team.
I certainly think the Blues can keep it close and competitive, but I do see United progressing. Their home record is utterly exceptional and there are too many doubts about the current Chelsea side to justify an investment.
If anything, the match odds market looks surprisingly generous to United backers with a back price of 1.865/6 available on a home win. Given they have beaten 13 of the 14 teams to have paid a visit in the league I couldn't put anyone off a straightforward back of the Reds.
There has been plenty of speculation on Wayne Rooney's future in the media after the England man started the Real game on the bench, but I wouldn't buy into that too much. Sir Alex Ferguson got the team selection and tactics right on Tuesday night. For 60 minutes, United pretty much nullified Madrid and Fergie deserves credit for that. He set the team up to get through the tie and the XI performed well, until Nani's sending off of course.
I imagine Wayne will start this game here and, after being left out, he will put a proper shift in. Wayne will be fresh and he's one of those guys who just loves to play so I'm expecting a big performance.
I'm certainly not writing Chelsea off, but they had to travel to Romania on Thursday and their form simply doesn't compare with Sunday's opponents. If United are in the mood they will win this, and a fantastic opportunity will await after the quarter-final draw. One of Millwall or Blackburn are guaranteed to make the final four and that would make for a very winnable semi-final.
Win on Sunday and, with the league as good as theirs, the double would be very much on for United. That is still a hugely prestigious achievement and United will push hard for it to make up for the disappointment of Tuesday night.
Chelsea are likely to make United work hard for the win and I don't think we'll see too many goals at Old Trafford. I will play a couple of correct scores - 2-1 @ 9.417/2 and 2-0 @ 12.011/1 - as United take another stride towards a domestic double to ease their European pain.
The Tactical View: Michael Cox
"They struggled with ten men in midweek, but Manchester United's defensive shape against Real Madrid before Nani's red card was excellent, and there's been a marked improvement in their defensive record in recent weeks. They've kept four league clean sheets in a row, and there's no reason they can't take that form into this FA Cup meeting with Chelsea. Fernando Torres has one goal in his last 16 games - against Brentford - while Demba Ba hasn't quite recreated his form with Newcastle since his move south. I'll back United to win to nil at around 3.5."
The Betfair Trader's View: Alan Thompson
I agree with Lee that Man Utd will get back to winning ways in the FA Cup at Old Trafford this weekend. The Reds have scored 38 times from their 13 home Premier League victories this season averaging 2.71 goals per game. Cup holders Chelsea aren’t exactly shy in front of goal either, netting 13 times, to get past Southampton, Brentford and Middlesbrough.
"The last six league meetings between the two have resulted in both teams scoring and over 2.5 goals, I think we'll see something similar on Sunday. However, both markets are short enough for my liking. I think Chelsea’s main focus will be on finishing in the top four and because of that, I’m going for United in the Asian Handicap -1 @ 2.5 and will be having a flutter on Man Utd to win 3-1 @ 17."
09 March 2013