Chelsea will host Manchester United in an FA Cup fifth round clash at Stamford Bridge on Monday night, and Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has backed Chelsea to win the game.
Despite Chelsea’s poor form heading into this game, Merson believes Chelsea will win the tie and has predicted a 2-1 win for the Blues.
Merson believes Chelsea will win this game due to the absence of Jesse Lingard hinting that struggling Alexis Sanchez can’t replace the England international.
Lingard as well as Anthony Martial picked up an injury in the first-half against PSG as the French champions went on to win the game 2-0 at Old Trafford.
For the Blues, recent 4-0 and 6-0 defeats have lowered belief in the squad and opposition teams see Chelsea as beatable. But the Blues bounced back from the loss to City with a 2-1 win away at Malmo in the Europa League tie.
Solskjaer’s side tasted their first defeat since the appointment of the interim manager in December and Merson doesn’t think this United side can face Chelsea despite Chelsea’s struggles.
“United were brought back down to earth by Paris Saint-Germain the other day,” Merson told Sky Sports. “It’s a hard game.
“It’s one of those where I think Chelsea will win this. I think that Champions League loss will knock Man Utd sideways.
“They will miss Jesse Lingard, he’s a bit of an unsung hero for them. When he went off against PSG that was it then. The players that are coming in like Alexis Sanchez have flopped.
“It’s a massive game for both of them. Man Utd are now are under pressure after their first-leg loss to PSG in the Champions League.
“Their season could go up in flames in a week because if they get beat here they are out of the FA Cup and are facing an uphill task to stay in the Champions League.
“This period for me is when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is going to get the job or not.”