latest football news in Nigeria

How Man United could line-up without strikers at Chelsea

FA Cup By: Collins Udeme | 13/03/2017

How Man United could line-up without strikers at Chelsea

Manchester United face Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-final and Jose Mourinho has a headache up front as the Red Devils are 90 minutes away from another trip to Wembley in a bid to defend the trophy they won last season.

Monday marks another Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge where he faces his former employers in the FA Cup quarter-final. Having escaped the pitch at Rostov in a Europa League game last Thursday without any injuries and with the second leg on Thursday, Mourinho has hinted he could name a weakened side at Stamford Bridge.

The former Real Madrid and Inter boss heads to Stamford Bridge without the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic and injured Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial. Marcus Rashford is another doubt with illness - but there are suggestions the England striker could be a surprise inclusion against Chelsea.

The last thing Mourinho wished for was to head to Chelsea without any fit strikers but with the absence of the suspended Ibrahimovic and injured Rooney and Martial plus Rashford who is another doubt with illness, the Portuguese boss will now pray for the Blues to have a bad day while hoping for his backline to be at their best.

Rashford reportedly made the trip to London despite not being seen with the rest of the squad. But it remains to be seen if he will take part. 

Assuming United are without a point man, it seems likely Belgian star Marouane Fellaini will have to operate as a makeshift forward. Fellaini's hold up play cannot be questioned provided he has willing runners around him, United could still possess a threat up front - particularly in the guise of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard.

The Reds boss has said he will prioritise the Europa League, meaning he may be tempted to rest some legs ahead of Thursday's important clash with Rostov but it seems unlikely he'd risk another defeat at the stadium he used to rule.

Here's how we think the outspoken tactician will set-up his team against a formidable Chelsea side who are in top gear ahead of Monday's game.

David De Gea is expected to man the sticks as they will need a top class performer against the prolific Chelsea. To the Spaniard's right in the full-back role should be Damian coming in for Valencia while Jones and Bailly are expected in the central defensive positions with Marcos Rojo completing the back four on the left.

Michael Carrick looks the likely defensive midfielder for the night just in front of the back four and could be assisted by Juan Mata to his left and Paul Pogba to his left.

Leading the line would be the former Everton man Fellaini, to be supported by Mkhitaryan and Lingard to his right and left respectively.

Man United possible XI v Chelsea: De Gea, Damian, Jones, Bailly, Rojo, Carrick, Pogba, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Lingard and Fellaini