This FA Cup semi-final arguably comes at the wrong time for both of these sides, as they still seek to confirm their Premier League fates.
Both Manchester United and Chelsea are battling for a top-four finish and are separated by a single point in the standings, although the FA Cup does represent an opportunity to add to each side’s trophy cabinet.
United last won this competition in 2016 and one more will bring them level with Arsenal’s record 13 FA Cup triumphs, which will give them some incentive, despite the potential distraction of desperately trying to secure Champions League football via a top-four finish. Just an appearance in the final will be a record 21st for the Red Devils.
Chelsea beat United 1-0 in the final two years ago and are aiming for their 9th FA Cup triumph. Here they are bidding to make their third final in four seasons and their 14th in history.
With both sides competing for a top-four finish, it’s currently unclear how much both Frank Lampard and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will see this game as a priority, but the added incentive of winning silverware should trump any concerns they have.
Manchester United have beaten Chelsea three times already this season but the Blues have had 48 hours longer to prepare for this meeting.
The Red Devils go into this game as the form side, though, having not tasted defeat in any competition since a home defeat to Burnley at the end of January – that’s an unbeaten run of 19 games.
Chelsea’s strong start to football’s return has been tarnished by away defeats to West Ham and Sheffield United, while they only just scraped a 1-0 win over relegated Norwich City earlier this week.
On the basis of this, Man United are arguably the favourites to advance to a record 21st FA Cup final, but question marks over both side’s team selection intentions mean this remains a difficult one to predict
Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams both missed United’s mid-week win over Crystal Palace and may not be ready to feature here either, while Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe remain sidelined. Sergio Romero is expected to stand in for David De Gea in goal.
For Chelsea, the only definite absentee is Billy Gilmour while there are some doubts over the fitness of N’Golo Kante.
FA Cup streaming sites will be showing this big clash at Wembley on Sunday 19 July, with the match scheduled to kick-off at 6pm.
Elsewhere, fans will be able to catch the action on BBC One.