As Chelsea get to ready to face Manchester United in the FA Cup on Sunday, manager Frank Lampard will not need reminding of the fact that his side have already lost three times to United this season.
That being said, the Blues have the advantage in the race for the top four and may perhaps be in a better position to play their strongest side, particularly as they’ve had an extra 48 hours rest than their opponents.
With Olivier Giroud back in the goals and some key signings already made, good times could be ahead for Lampard’s men next season. Winning the FA Cup, however, is a real possibility this term.
Let’s have a look then at how the Blues could line up against United in this huge semi-final…
Willy Caballero (GK): The Argentine is no stranger to the starting XI having replaced team mate Kepa Arrizabalaga on a number of occasions due to the younger man’s inconsistent form.
César Azpilicueta (RB): The Spaniard remains vital to Frank Lampard’s side and his experience could be key this weekend.
Antonio Rudiger (CB): The Blues defence has often been at fault this season, yet Rudiger remains one of the more consistent members of the backline. He had a nightmare against Sheffield United, but remained firm to earn a clean sheet against Norwich.
Kurt Zouma (CB): The Frenchman is now the favoured choice ahead of Andreas Christensen and Fikayo Tomori, and is beginning to look like the player he was before his sickening injury a few years ago.
Marcos Alonso (LB): The former Bolton defender is probably sick of hearing the name Ben Chilwell, yet his performances this season have been well below-par. That being said, few full-backs have his ability on the ball and his eye for a goal.
Jorginho (CDM): With N’Golo Kanté likely to be out through injury, the Italy international will be the experienced and calming presence in midfield. Few players are better on the ball in the league than the former Napoli man.
Mateo Kova?i? (CM): The Croatian has been an astute purchase by the club and provides some steel to a side packed with flair.
Ross Barkley (CM): While the arrival of Hakim Ziyech will make the competition for places even tougher, one man who deserves a longer stint in the starting XI is Ross Barkley. The Englishman has been in good form of late and is unfairly criticised at times.
Willian (RW): It’s a real possibility that the Brazilian will be leaving for free at the end of the season, yet at present he remains one of the club’s in-form players.
Olivier Giroud (ST): It’s been a tough old time for Tammy Abraham, first Timo Werner signed and then he lost his place to a 33-year-old. What the Frenchman offers that Abraham simply cannot is hold up play, so he has to start on Sunday.
Christian Pulisic (LW): Callum Hudson-Odoi who? The young Englishman has all but been forgotten about following the brilliant run of form of his American teammate.