While Manchester United and Chelsea are set to renew their incredible 2019/2020 rivalry, this time in the Emirates FA Cup at Wembley on Sunday, there is something special about this tie and the number four (4).
As a matter of fact, four (4) is indeed the magic number for his titanic encounter and the reasons are quite clear and simple, four-tunately.
Kepa or Caballero, Chelsea have conceded 4
Chelsea fans may be debating who should start in goal for them on Sunday, which is understandable given how good Kepa has been this season, but the news is that whoever is the goalkeeper for the Blues, United have put four (4) past him.
In their three previous matches under Frank Lampard against United this season, Kepa featured in one and conceded 4 goals while Caballero took care of the other two matches, and yes, you guessed right, he conceded 4, too.
So, who is your favourite number ‘4’?
Chelsea and United really love Wembley
Both teams really have a thing for the beautiful Wembley Stadium, and while that is obviously a good thing – as it points out how successful they have been, it also means when they step out on that pitch on Sunday, it would be the ninth between them.
But the news is that in the previous eight (8) meetings, both teams have enjoyed four (4) wins apiece.
Naija Boy, Odion Ighalo
Odion Ighalo’s move to Old Trafford remains a very big deal amongst most Nigerians but on Sunday, Chelsea fans in Nigeria won’t want to see him play any part for United.
Ighalo is United’s top scorer in the FA Cup (3) this season, but in the competition, he is deadly as they come as he has netted four (4) times in just five starts.
The Fourth Meeting
Finally, yes, fans of the Blues have every reason to go into the clash on Sunday with a lot of trepidation after what they have been through in the hands of the Red Devils.
The Emirates FA Cup semi-final will see Chelsea face United for the fourth (4th) time this season, two (2) in the Premier League, and one (1) in the EFL Cup were the previous three (3).
Chelsea fans, how confident are you going into this 4th match?
Ohh, lest we forget, here is a worthy mention – the ‘4s’ are so many that even Marcus Rashford has scored four (4) in his last two (2) games against Lampard’s Chelsea. You can already bet that we are poised for an entertaining match on Sunday. We could see 4 goals. Maybe 4-0? We observe.
Betting : 2 Quick Picks To Double Your Money
These are the 4 players who could decide the #MUNCHE semi-final.
The Red Devils or as their rival fans describe them now ‘Varchester United’ go into this particular encounter as favourites having already defeated Frank Lampard and his Chelsea side three (3) times already this season.
Clearly, that gives Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United the mental edge going into this one, with Chelsea also looking quite vulnerable and out of steam in recent matches.
However, who are those players from both teams who could eventually decide who wins or loses this pulsating Emirates FA Cup semi-final encounter?
Here are the picks from our in-house analysts, three from the Blue side of London and two from the red side of Manchester.
Regarded as a “great transitional player” by one of the analysts, the Brazilian is in the form of his life and Chelsea fans have loved every bit of the Willian they have seen this season especially since the Project Restart.
Despite a very impressive 11 goals and eight (8) assists in all competitions this campaign, the 31-year-old makes the list based on the fact he relishes the big games. He is your man for the big occasions as he has proved for the Blues on several occasions.
He assisted the decisive winner against Leicester in the quarter-final of the FA Cup, after scoring one of the two goals that knocked Premier League champions, Liverpool, out in the previous round. Other notable performances include against Valencia and Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League.
Fernandes has been a breath of fresh air for United fans since his January arrival from Sporting Lisbon. Not only has he been one of the club’s standout performers, but the Portuguese also emerged as the league’s best player in the last two months.
Fernandes has been involved in 9 goals since domestic competitions resumed in England following the Coronavirus pandemic, with five goals and four assists in 8 matches.
He is a player who likes to shoot and is seen as a goal and assist ‘magnet’, having assisted 18 goals this season for United and Sporting.
In terms of his contributions since joining United, the Magnifico is involved in a goal every 53.2 minutes for the Red Devils, with Lionel Messi, 16 goals, the only player in Europe’s top five leagues with a better goals contribution than Fernandes’ 14 since his United debut.
Forget the fact he is now a Doctor for a minute, Rashford has been a big problem for the Blues in recent times.
The 22-year-old has been reborn creatively for United since the restart but Chelsea fans won’t forget that the young Englishman is also a goal threat, having netted four times in his last two appearances against the Blues, one of which was a stunning free-kick from over 35 yards out in the EFL Cup.
The most underrated threat on our list, the Frenchman who seems to be going about his business quietly this season.
Giroud is in great form for Chelsea and the fans would be hoping Lampard won’t prefer Tammy Abraham to the 33-year-old, who has scored six (6) goals in just 10 starts for the Blues this season, half of which has arrived in his last five games.
Bonus Mention : Kepa Arrizabalaga
The Spaniard completes the list and in the words of one of our analysts “for being a cone”. Kepa concedes an average of 1.28 goals per 90 minutes this season (in the league) and against Sunday opponents, he has conceded four (4) times in just one appearance.
The 25-year-old has conceded a mind-boggling 53 goals in 47 matches this season for the Blues and thus, described as a ‘big differentiator’ who could lead Chelsea to a fourth consecutive loss to United this season. 💀
There you have it, our picks for the Emirates FA Cup clash on Sunday, but did we leave out anyone? Do drop your comments as we would love to hear from you.