FA Cup Key for Chelsea and Manchester United

What the FA Cup essentially means for Manchester United and Chelsea is a question that’s been asked and discussed for a quarter of a century. One of these teams managed to make it to the final in the last three years. However, that actually says more about the lop-sided strength of the elite six in the Premier League than their priorities.

However, this match comes at a time when the importance of the game extends far beyond the tournament. As both teams are set to arrive at Stamford Bridge on Monday evening in a state of flux, it probably matters more to the managers that the teams as a whole. Manchester United has recently suffered their first defeat under the guidance of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer while playing against PSG. In addition, Maurizio Sarri only has a month remaining to save his job, according to several reports.

Will a win during the fifth round of the FA Cup decide if these two managers can hold onto their jobs in the long term? Definitely not as it is very rare that a single match has that much weight riding on it. However, the match does represent a chance for both managers to start some form of recovery.

Minnows in the Premier League Have a Real Chance

Team sheets have always been impossible to predict for the elite teams when it comes to the FA Cup. The lure of points in the Premier League is undoubtedly the priority as always, even if the only unknown is where the teams will finish that are ranked between 8th and 12th place. You can usually make a strong case to ignore cup competitions, but if Roy Hodgson, Nuno Espirito Santo, Chris Hughton, and Javi Gracia don’t select the strongest team they can, it will amount to abandoning their duty as a manager.

With Liverpool, Arsenal, and Tottenham Hotspur out of the FA Cup, and either Manchester United or Chelsea to follow this week, there’s a clear path for other teams in the Premier League to make it to the semi-final at the very least or even the final which will depend on the draw. This is essentially an open FA Cup, an opportunity for four sides who between them have one last appearance in the Premier League and haven’t won a major trophy since 1980, to claim something.

It’s quite understandable that the status and money of the Premier League is of high importance for the clubs, but its certainly not the case when it comes to the fans. For die-hard fans, achievement essentially means trophies, and if they can’t get trophies, they want memories, incredible memories that can last a lifetime. In the last quarter of a century, football fans won’t remember a healthy balance sheet or a solid finish within the league. They will certainly remember when their favourite team reached the final. Therefore, clubs owe it to their fans to do their absolute best.