Three key battles ahead of Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final clash against Manchester United
(Photo: Rob Newell/Getty Images)

Wembley plays host to Chelsea's latest game against Manchester United in this weekend's FA Cup semi-final.

It's a pivotal game for both sides in their season with the winner guaranteed to face either Manchester City or Arsenal in the final on August 1st.

So, here are three key battles both on and off the field for both sides ahead of Sunday's game.

  • Lampard's mentality when going up against Solskjaer

This season, Chelsea have lost to United three times already this season, and with the form that Solskjaer's side is in - unbeaten in 19 games in all competitions - it would be easy to believe that United might have the mental edge over the Blues in this key game.

But Lampard has already begun the mind games in his pre-match press conferences, hinting at the possibility that United have benefited from VAR more than most, as well as warning his players of the crafty movements of Bruno Fernandes.

Both clubs are vying for top four in the Premier League, and whoever can get the win over the other will take a big leap in momentum not just in the FA Cup final, but into the final two game-weeks of the season.

  • Bruno Fernandes & Marcus Rashford vs Chelsea's defence

Bruno Fernandes has been a game-changer for Manchester United since he signed in January, grabbing 14 goal contributions in just 12 Premier League games - the most for United since he signed. 

His teammate Marcus Rashford will also look to continue his good form against Chelsea, with five goals against the Blues - the most against any club in his career so far. United fans will be happy to remember that stunning free kick against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup tie in October that won United the game. 

Both players will be a big handful for Chelsea's seemingly weak defence on Sunday, especially in combination with Fernandes' signature passing flair with Rashford's lethal finishing ability and quick footwork possibly proving too much for Chelsea's defence.

With N'Golo Kante still out injured with a hamstring problem, it'll fall down to Chelsea's centre-backs to do most of the defending and won't have Kante to rely on to track back if they do step up too far - something that has been punished this season by the likes of West Ham and Sheffield United.

In fact, Chelsea have conceded 49 goals this season, the most in the top half of the table and 41% of those are against sides in the bottom half of the table, leaving them with one of the leakiest defences in the league.

  • Olivier Giroud vs Harry Maguire 

Olivier Giroud has been instrumental to some key points for Chelsea since the restart, scoring all of his goals (6) this season since the Premier League returned, including three in his last four. It'll be important for United to stop his hold up play that allows Chelsea to get runners inside or the edge of the box e.g. Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount, Willian etc. 

The person to disrupt Giroud the best for United would be their captain Harry Maguire. Maguire is strong enough to not be overpowered by Giroud's tall frame and has some of the best defensive stats in United's squad. 

Maguire has the most interceptions per game in the squad, with the most clearances per game as well so he's certainly the best fit for Solskjaer to stick on Giroud to try and keep him out of the game as much as possible. 

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