A classic tale of blue versus red, football’s primary colors. The second game of the North against the South semi-final that is set to decide who will face either of Arsenal or Manchester City. This fixture has over the years been decisive from flying tackles to spectacular goals, form titles changing hands to managers rubbing shoulders.
Though in contrast to previous meetings, this is the closest it comes to the epic battles that ensued during the peak of the Ferguson-Mourinho rivalry. Both clubs are separated by a single point in their quest for Champions League football next season. Similarly the clubs are coached by two young managers who are legends for their respective clubs.
Frank Lampard and Ole Gunnar Solskjær are at the genesis of their careers and know silverware defines a managers success at big club.The stage is set for each man to stake his claim as the next great manager of English football.
Claims by Solskjær that Chelsea will be fresh for the game given the extra 48 hours they had to prepare have been refuted by Chelsea Manager who says he doesn’t decide how the fixtures are planned.
Date Time Venue and Match officials
The clash will be staged at Wembley on Sunday 19th July 2020 at 8.00 EAT
The centre referee will be Michael Dean (Mike Dean) while Michael Oliver will be in charge of the VAR
Head to Head
The Red Devils are unbeaten in their last six matches against the Blues and have won against them 3 times this season – Twice in the league and once in the league cup.
Chelsea did however beat United 1-0 in the FA Cup final two years ago courtesy of an Eden Hazard penalty.
The overall head-to-head record stands at 81 wins to Manchester United, 54 for Chelsea along with 51 draws.
Youngster Billy Gilamour is a long-term absentee after undergoing surgery. Chelsea have also been dealt a big blow after Manager Frank Lampard confirmed that N’golo Kante will not be fit for the match.
Left-backs Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams face late fitness tests and it’s still unclear whether they will be available for selection.
Christian Pulisic have been the star of the show since returning for an injury lay-off . Captain America has shown flashes of brilliance that made Chelsea pay £58 million in January 2019. Brazillian winger Willian and French foward Olivier Giroud will be a constant goal threat.
The Blues will be wary of January signing Bruno Fernandes who has been a revelation since joining from Sporting Lisbon. He has proved to be the perfect fit to the United midfield jigsaw. The Red Devils are yet to lose a game with him in the side. The deadly front three of Rashford, Martial and Greenwood could be a nuisance to the Chelsea defence.
The semi-final is the worst knockout stage in football. For the winner it a giant step towards winning the trophy while for loser its always a case of so close yet so far way.
Enough said, let the ball roll and the let feet do the talking.