Chelsea fans will hope that Juan Mata will be restored to the starting line-up against Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-final replay after missing out on yesterday’s trip to Southampton due to a fever.
England defender Gary Cahill is still a doubt with a knee injury but there are no fresh concerns for interim manager Rafael Benitez.
Manchester United will be without Rafael, who limped off with a groin injury in their game against Sunderland, but Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs could return to action after being rested for that game.
C. Azpilicueta – J. Terry (c) – D. Luiz – A. Cole
J. Mikel – Ramires
Oscar – J. Mata – E. Hazard
Benitez received a lot of criticism for his selection yesterday, despite a few changes being forced on him, but he won’t be able to get away with leaving the likes of Mata and Eden Hazard out for this one. Victor Moses, Marko Marin and Oscar were all utterly dreadful yesterday but as the Brazilian has the better understanding with the aforementioned I believe he’ll be given the nod.
Frank Lampard was another player that didn’t cover himself in glory during yesterday’s performance as he failed to attempt a single tackle during a game in which our opponents had 60% of the ball and it just wasn’t his day with the passing either, so I think he may be omitted so Benitez can play the John Obi Mikel/Ramires combination that bossed Manchester United for the second half of the previous encounter.
Due to rotation Demba Ba will likely start the game and I hope he’ll be better than he was against West Ham when he Torresed everything. Ironically, Fernando Torres was one of the better players against the Saints when he had the ball but he rarely had it, just 31 touches, and any chance he did create mostly fell to Moses and the less said about his display the better.