Preview: Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United

The visit of FA Cup holders Manchester United to Ewood Park for a fifth-round clash on Sunday will be a welcome distraction for relegation-threatened Blackburn Rovers.

While Jose Mourinho's side are very much on the up, with comprehensive league and cup results, and a place in the EFL Cup final later this month, Owen Coyle's side find themselves struggling for survival in second-last place in the Championship.

The six-time winners of this famous competition secured their place in the fifth-round by beating Queens Park Rangers 2-1 and Blackpool 2-0, while United, who have 12 FA Cups under their belts, easily defeated Reading and Wigan Athletic by the same 4-0 scoreline.

Coyle, whose position as Rovers boss is very much under threat, admitted to be looking forward to facing United, when the draw was made at the end of January.

He said: "It's absolutely brilliant. I said…that we'd love a home draw and we got that and, to be honest, it doesn't come much bigger than Manchester United.

"I think it's an exciting game for everybody to look forward to when it comes about and hopefully it will really whet the appetite of the fans, coming up against such an elite club in a glamour tie."

Mourinho, meanwhile, says he will field a strong line-up in a bid to banish memories of a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United in 2005 during his time at Chelsea, when he was also fighting on a number of fronts.

He said: "I threw it away [in 2005]. In the same week there was the Champions League game against Barcelona and the League Cup final against Liverpool, and in the middle of that was the FA Cup game against Newcastle.

"I threw it away, gambled too much and focused on Barcelona and Liverpool.

"It was good because we beat Barcelona and won the final against Liverpool, but the feeling of throwing it away was not good so I won't throw it away.

"If I lose, I lose because the opponent was better or that we didn't play well but I am not going to throw it away and go to Blackburn with that respect."

In team news, Rovers midfielders Hope Akpan and Elliott Bennett miss this tie through suspension while Sam Gallagher looks set to be sidelined after injuring his knee.

Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick, who missed United's 3-0 victory over Saint-Etienne in the Europa League on Thursday night through injury, are not expected to be fit.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is, meanwhile, recovering from an illness while Phil Jones will face a late fitness test as he recovers from a foot injury.

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