It won't be a thriller! Van Persie believes fatigue could affect blockbuster FA Cup tie
Simon Stone, Press Association
21:05 GMT, 30 March 2013
21:05 GMT, 30 March 2013
Robin van Persie has warned fans not to expect an FA Cup classic between Manchester United and Chelsea on Monday.
With Chelsea still involved in the Europa League and UEFA frowning on fixtures between England's top clubs on Champions League designated days, the FA were left with little option other than to schedule the eagerly-anticipated quarter-final replay just two days after Premier League fixtures.
Even the potential for an evening kick-off was ruled out as Fulham are due to take on QPR in the Barclays Premier League at Craven Cottage.
Influence: Robin van Persie helped Manchester United to a 1-0 win at Sunderland
It means United will be in action 48 hours after today's win at Sunderland, with Chelsea having marginally less time to prepare following their defeat at Southampton.
It is the kind of scheduling that has England's European counterparts scratching their heads in bewilderment.
And Van Persie points out it is difficult for the players to reach a high level of performance twice in such a short period of time.
Dejection: Chelsea's top-four hopes suffered a blow on Saturday as they were beaten 2-1 by Southampton
Sublime: Rickie Lambert's beautiful free-kick proved to be the winner at St Mary's
'It is not ideal,' he told MUTV.
'Normally on the second day your muscles are quite bad but now we have to play at this certain time.
'It is a shame but we can't do anything about it because there are Champions League games in midweek and Chelsea are still in the Europa League.
'We just have to deal with it.
'People have to realise they can't expect a great game of football because it is not possible.
'If it happens I am glad, but don't expect it because these games are just too close to each other.'
Back from the brink: Chelsea came from 2-0 behind in the original tie at Old Trafford to force a replay
Van Persie was speaking after United's 1-0 win at Sunderland, which maintains their 15-point advantage over Manchester City with just eight games remaining.
City will be the opponents for Monday's victors at Stamford Bridge, with Van Persie eager to get his hands on a trophy he won with Arsenal but United have not lifted since 2004.
'It has been a while,' he said.
'It has been nine years since we last won it and we want to win the double.
'We made a big step today but we want to go for both. We have a chance to reach the semi-final against City.'