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Sunday, 17 March 2013

Man United: Should Sir Alex rest stars ahead of cup replay with Chelsea?

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Sqf Soohwan United

It's been a tough time to be a Manchester United supporter recently, I don't think any of us will recover from the defeat to Madrid for a long time - mostly due to the manner of the loss.

Nevertheless, Manchester United are still performing well in the league and haven't lost a league match since away to Norwich in the middle of November. There's still enough time and potential banana skins along the way but if Manchester United can win their next three league matches, including the home match against Manchester City, then the title should be wrapped up by then.

So all is going well in the league. The FA Cup on the other hand does look tough. Following a trip to Sunderland, Manchester United will need to go to Stamford Bridge just two days later to book a semi-final match against Manchester City at Wembley.

So, should Manchester United risk the league by resting players for the match against Chelsea?

HernandezUnited certainly have the squad, as shown by the way the squad was rotated before each match against Real Madrid. Hernandez looks set to play as Sir Alex Ferguson trusts the Mexican against the Chelsea defence - his goal at Old Trafford highlighting his potential against them. Any of the three other forward players could start alongside him. Though Chicharito plays better with Wayne Rooney behind him.

The midfield looks to be the worrying aspect of United again. Kagawa was fine during the Cheslea match, but the misplaced passes from both Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley were very worrying. You could blame it on tired legs, but I expect much better and hope there will be an improvement at Stamford Bridge.

When Frank Lampard came off, Chelsea did seem to play with more speed and that was something the Manchester United midfield wasn't able to deal with. Possibly playing Anderson in there might help - though his fitness is a problem. 

The fitness of Nani is also a worry as he has been in good form, but also because of the deteriorating form of Antonio Valencia. Every time he plays you hope he can recapture his form of last year. But it seems the burden of wearing the number 7 has got to him. WIth Nani starting three out of United's last four matches, even Sir Alex Ferguson has lost faith in Valencia. With the incoming arrival of Wilfried Zaha, the end of Antonio Valencia's Old Trafford career might be coming sooner than expected.

But he might get a chance against Sunderland, along with other players who could play ahead of rested players. Ferguson has mentioned before about his desire to win the FA Cup this season. Rio Ferdinand is determined also to win his first FA Cup. So there's a big chance Ferguson will take the gamble against Sunderland.

But is it wise to take it easy against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light? If United give Manchester City a sniff it might become much more tense and the memories of last season will come flooding back.

So is it a good idea to rest players ahead of the FA Cup replay match against Chelsea? Is the title already won? If a wide player should leave, should it be Nani or Antonio Valencia? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.


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