Chelsea manager, Maurizio Sarri could well be facing one of the most difficult coaching job in his career as he hopes to turn around the misfortune that has hit the team after the 6-0 pummeling against Manchester City in the Premier League a fortnight ago.
Although the Blues bounced back to winning ways after beating Malmo FC 2-1 in the first leg of the Europa League round of 32 last week Thursday away from home, Sarri’s job would come under serious threat as Chelsea host eternal rival, Manchester United in the fifth round of the FA Cup at Stamford today (Monday), knowing a defeat could end his reign with the club.
Then there is the challenge of taking on Manchester City in the EFL Cup Final at Wembley on Sunday — two weeks after the same opponents humiliated Chelsea by winning 6-0, which was their heaviest top-flight defeat 28 years.
A vital League match at home to Tottenham three days later completes the set — no wonder there is a growing suspicion that how this month ends will define Sarri’s future at Stamford Bridge.
But defeating Manchester United in an earlier round this term could provide exactly the boost Sarri and the players need to succeed in the other competitions, particularly their pursuit of qualifying for the Champions League. The same could be said of Solskjaer, who is facing the first serious test of his credentials since moving into the dug-out at Old Trafford.
It seemed the Norwegian was riding the wave of an unstoppable momentum after winning 11 of his first 12 games, following Jose Mourinho’s sacking.
History is on Chelsea’s side, having beaten Manchester United in their last four FA Cup meetings and lost just twice against them at home in 22 games.