Manchester United youngster Tahith Chong has made the trip to London on Monday, while Phil Jones has been omitted from the latest FA Cup squad.
The Red Devils will take on Chelsea in the fifth round this evening at Stamford Bridge, hoping to avenge last year’s 1-0 final defeat and bounce back from last week’s Champions League loss to Paris Saint Germain.
Caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has overseen a superb run of ten wins out of 12 matches, but the FA Cup now looks like the only piece of silverware left available to his side.
United have only managed to win two of their last 22 games away at Chelsea, but their opponents have endured a mixed 2018-19 campaign to date, which is in danger of being defined by their damaging 6-0 defeat against Manchester City in the Premier League last week.
According to the Manchester Evening News, Solskjaer has left key defender Jones out of his final squad to face the Blues, but he has surprisingly included 19-year-old starlet Chong.
The young winger has been tipped for a bright future at the club but he hasn’t managed to earn himself a regular spot in the senior team just yet, with just one appearance under his belt to date.
However, with Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard currently sidelined, Chong could be granted a huge opportunity to shine against one of United’s fiercest rivals, either in a cameo role or as a surprise starter.
Meanwhile, Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian have also been deemed surplus to requirements for United’s latest clash, with Solskjaer likely to opt with Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly in the heart of the defence once again.
A win for the Red Devils would ensure that confidence is restored ahead of a crucial run of fixtures over the next month, which includes games against Liverpool, Arsenal, Man City and the second leg tie against PSG in Europe.
A second successive defeat would be a blow to Solskjaer’s hopes of landing the permanent managerial role though and Chelsea’s impressive record against United indicates that they could be in for a difficult night.