Blackburn v Manchester United preview: Holders chasing record 13th triumph
Last Updated: 19/02/17 7:32pm
Manchester United will look to continue their trophy charge on all four fronts when they travel to Blackburn in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.
The holders have been drawn away from Old Trafford for the first time in this season's competition, making the short trip to Ewood Park where they aim to take another stride towards retaining the trophy.
United have lost just one of their last 23 games in all competitions as Jose Mourinho's men - still in the EFL Cup, Europa League and the race for Champions League qualification - gear up for the season's finale.
Despite tasting defeat in just one of their last five home games, United will fancy their chances of overcoming a recently resurgent Blackburn side, as Rovers haven't beaten Manchester United at home in any competition since winning 4-3 in February 2006.
Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are doubts for Manchester United.
Rooney and Carrick missed Thursday's Europa League tie against St Etienne with minor muscular injuries, with Mkhitaryan absent from the last-32 first leg through illness.
Centre-back Jones will be hoping to return from a foot injury in time to face his former club, while Luke Shaw is pushing for a chance after being overlooked for United's previous four squads.
Blackburn's Hope Akpan (misconduct) and Elliott Bennett (offensive language) are both suspended after receiving bans following the 2-1 defeat by Sheffield Wednesday.
Lucas Joao is cup-tied, Tommy Hoban and Corry Evans are not yet ready for duty and Sam Gallagher misses out after receiving 12 stitches for a knee injury suffered at Hillsborough.
Blackburn and Manchester United last met in the FA Cup in 1984/85, with United winning 2-0 in Round 5 with goals from Gordon Strachan and Paul McGrath.
Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young both scored in United's last visit to Ewood Park back in April 2012, a 2-0 win.
Manchester United have won both of their FA Cup ties this season by a 4-0 scoreline against Championship teams Reading and Wigan.
Anthony Martial has been involved in nine goals in his last eight FA Cup games (3 goals, 6 assists).
This is the third season in a row that Blackburn have made it to the fifth round - they lost 5-1 to West Ham last season but beat Stoke City 4-1 in 2014/15 at this stage.
Blackburn have lost only one of their last five games at Ewood Park in all competitions (W3 D1).
Mourinho's side have lost just one of their previous nine away matches in all competitions (W6 D2).
I can't see this being too difficult for Manchester United. One thing Mourinho always does is take the cups seriously. They are already in the EFL Cup Final and I just don't see them slipping up here. Blackburn are second bottom of the Championship and their priority has to be staying in that division this season.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-3 (15/2 with Sky Bet)
Manchester United will be bidding for a sixth straight clean sheet and they can be backed at even money with Sky Bet to win the game to nil. They are just 1/3 in the outright betting with the home side, who sit second bottom in the Championship, 17/2 chances. A draw is 4/1 with Wayne Rooney, who netted in the third round against Reading, 7/2 to open the scoring and 10/11 to find the target in 90 minutes. Home striker Danny Graham is seen as their chief threat and 15/2 to break the deadlock at Ewood Park.