Soccer Picks: Manchester United vs. Chelsea - FA Cup

Steven Suarez

Friday, March 8, 2013 3:25 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 8, 2013 3:25 PM UTC

Both Chelsea and Manchester United had a rough time in European play this week. How will each respond in this massive FA Cup Quarter-Final?

Odds Overview

Sunday's clash at Old Trafford is going to be another one for the ages, with the Red Devils trading at roughly 5/7 soccer betting odds favorites.

The Blues are listed at 16/5, while a draw can be had at 13/5.


A miserable performance in a Europa League first-leg tie with Steaua Bucharest doomed the Blues, who fell 1-0 and will now have to take care of business in the return leg at Stamford Bridge

Rafa Benitez's team looked punchless going forward and then paid the penalty when they gave up a penalty in the first half.

Considering the sheer amount of attacking quality the Blues possess, the result simply wasn't good enough. They had eight total chances and just three shots on goal, while also losing out on time of possession.

Fernando Torres has shown glimpses of his world-class ability, but on the whole he's been a big disappointment since moving to Chelsea. The fact a couple of midfielders, Frank Lampard and Juan Mata, have more goals than Torres says it all and he was again misfiring during the midweek defeat.

Now is certainly not the time the Blues want to start losing. They occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot in the Premier League standings right now, but both Arsenal and Everton are in striking distance, and any kind of loss in confidence could be the death of Chelsea. A cup win would definitely be a boost to morale.

Manchester United

The Red Devils also lost in Europe this week, but truth be told they deserved much more.

With Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid in town for the second leg of a Champions League battle royale, United got off to a fantastic start. The tactics were spot on and the Red Devils even got a goal early in the second half to put them in control.

However, Nani was handed a questionable red card moments later and the match completely turned on its head. Luka Modric and Ronaldo scored for Los Blancos, condemning the Red Devils to a 3-2 loss on aggregate.

Sir Alex Ferguson was obviously left fuming at the decision, but hopefully he's moved on and has turned his attention to this cup showdown at home. He knows how important it is to get a result here now that his side is out of Europe.

You can be sure Wayne Rooney will be back in the starting XI this weekend. Many were surprised to see him on the bench for the match against Madrid, but Ferguson has stated it was purely a tactical move and that Rooney isn't going anywhere. Don't be surprised one bit if Rooney ends up on the score-sheet on Sunday.

FA Cup Pick

These sides have met twice this season, once in the Premier League and once in the Capital One Cup. Both games were cracking affairs, with United winning 3-2 at Stamford Bridge in the league encounter and the Blues getting the 5-4 victory in the cup.

Goals ruled those first two meetings, but we do see more disciplined defensive performances in store this Sunday.

It's hard to turn out a United win at a reasonable price at 5/7 for my soccer picks, especially since they'll be roaring to get back on the winning side of things after getting hard done by in the Champions League.

Old Trafford will be in full voice again and ultimately we believe the Red Devils will prove their superiority. Chelsea has been far too hit or miss, so we like United to win here and move on to the semi-finals.

Soccer Picks: Manchester United 2 Chelsea 1 at Paddy Power

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