Paul Merson reckons Chelsea will beat Manchester United in Mondays FA Cup fifth round clash because of the absence of Jesse Lingard.
Manchester United suffered their first defeat of the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era on Tuesday night, losing 2-0 to French champions PSG. The Red Devils were distinctly off colour at Old Trafford, and their night was made all the more difficult when Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial were forced to withdraw through injury.
Solskjaer has since confirmed that the pair picked up muscular injuries, although the Norwegian is remaining hopeful that they will be fit for Monday’s trip to Stamford Bridge.
However, Merson has described England international Lingard as ‘an unsung hero’ and thinks his absence will hand the advantage to Chelsea.
“United were brought back down to earth by Paris Saint-Germain the other day,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“It’s a hard game. Its one of those where I think Chelsea will win this. I think that Champions League loss will knock Man Utd sideways.
“They will miss Jesse Lingard, he’s a bit of an unsung hero for them.
“When he went off against PSG that was it then. The players that are coming in like Alexis Sanchez have flopped.
“It’s a massive game for both of them. Man Utd are now are under pressure after their first-leg loss to PSG in the Champions League.
“Their season could go up in flames in a week because if they get beat here they are out of the FA Cup and are facing an uphill task to stay in the Champions League.
“This period for me is when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is going to get the job or not.”