Manchester United v Chelsea match preview

Home advantage and a crucial away goal mean that Manchester United look favourites to progress to the Champions League semi-finals at the expense of Chelsea this evening.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have never lost a European tie having won the first leg and only twice – Inter Milan earlier this year and Ajax in 1996 - has a club progressed to the next round having lost the first game at home.

A Wayne Rooney goal separated the two sides in the quarter final first leg at Stamford Bridge last week, but Carlo Ancelotti’s side can take inspiration from their 2-1 victory at Old Trafford last year. A similar score-line tonight would see them through to the semi-finals on away goals.

The last 10 meetings between the two sides at Old Trafford have yielded four United wins, three Chelsea victories and three draws which further suggests that the tie is far from over.

United fans will also remember that Real Madrid came to Old Trafford at the same stage of the competition in 2000 and left with a 3-2 to victory. While in 1997 Borussia Dortmund won 1-0 in Manchester, having lost the first leg at home by the same score-line, and progressed to the final after a penalty shootout victory.

However, the current Premier League leaders’ European home record in recent years has been formidable. Their only defeat in their last 35 games came in 2009 when Besiktas recorded a 1-0 victory. While AC Milan’s 1-0 win in 2005 was the last time any team won a knockout game at Old Trafford.

Chelsea’s away record in Champions League, however, is also impressive. They have scored in seven of their last eight European trips and kept clean sheets in half of these games too.

More worrying for Ancelotti is the fact that his side has failed to score in three of their last four matches in Europe and since January 31st his misfiring strikers – who have a combined value of nearly £100m – have only netted five goals between them.

Yossi Benayoun and Alex’s return to first team action on the weekend does mean that the Italian has a full squad – with the exception of the ineligible David Luiz – to choose from though.

United meanwhile are at full strength apart from right back Rafael and Darren Fletcher who both look likely to miss out.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...