FA Cup Final Preview : United to Equal Record
Event Venue: Wembley Stadium, Saturday 19 May 5.15pm. Live on BBC1 and BT Sport 1.See Stats
Manchester United and Chelsea meet in the FA Cup Final at Wembley. Our preview looks ahead to the game as United bid to win the cup for a record-equaling 13th time.
The Final Farewell
Failure to reach qualify for Europe's top club competition may have been the final nail in the coffin for Chelsea boss Antonio Conte. Finishing fifth and condemning Chelsea fans to Thursday night football wasn't the result Mr Abramovich was wanting after last season's league triumph. Earning a single point from their two final league games against Hudddersfield Town and Watford wasn't the most impressive end to the season either and the departure of Conte should be announced by the end of this month, regardless of his side wins this game or not.
It looks like being another summer of urgent surgery at Stamford Bridge, but before that they have this cup final to deal with. It'll be interesting to see what line-up Conte comes up with Alvaro Morata started against Huddersfield but was left on the subs bench at Newcastle in a game they had to win. He hasn't lived up to expectations this season but did score in the quarter and semi-final so perhaps this is his competition. The problem with Chelsea is conistency both in the way they play and team selection. Olivier Giroud has been an impressive signing and could be a vital player this weekend.
United Bid to Equal Record
Manchester United have won the FA Cup on 12 occasions and a win here will equal the record of 13 set by Arsenal last year when they beat Chelsea in the final. This century hasn't been full of cup wins for United, they won the FA Cup in 2004 but had to wait until 2016 for their next win, beating Crystal Palace after extra-time, the first time since 1999 they'd won the trophy at Wembley.
To reach this final, Manchester United have had to face three of the teams in England's top league with wins over Derby County, Yeovil Town, Huddersfield Town, Brighton and Hove Albion and Tottenham. Finishing second in the Premier League and winning the FA Cup would be a pretty good effort for most sides and it would mean Jose Mourinho would have won every domestic honour bar the Premier League title in his two years with the club plus last season's Europa League. But still you feel a sense of disappointment that they couldn't get close to Manchester City this season.
They didn't quite end the league season on a flourish with just one win in their last three games and just the one goal. Romelu Lukaku is rated 50/50 to return from injury and take on his former side and United really need him to be fit. At least Marcus Rashford got the winner against Watford at the weekend but that was his first goal since March 10. The last three United games have all had under 2.5 goals scored in them, so this might not be the high-scoring final we'd love to see.
The FA Cup may see teams play reserve sides most of the time but it's still nearly always one of the top teams that wins it. This clash between Chelsea and Manchester United should be an exciting end to the season but it's difficult to pick a winner. This preview believes that the game will go into extra time with the deadlock being beaten and one of the sides winning in extra time saving us a penalty shoot-out.
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- The last three Manchester United games have all had under 2.5 goals scored in them.
- Four of the last five Chelsea games have had under 2.5 goals sccored in them
- Manchester United have scored at least twice in each of their FA Cup games this season.
- Chelsea have scored at least twice in their last four FA Cup ties
- Chelsea last won the FA Cup in 2012 and Manchester United 2016
- Three of the last four FA Cup Finals have seen both teams score
- Two of the last four FA Cup Finals have gone to extra time
- United's last loss in the FA Cup was to Chelsea in 2017
- The loss to Chelsea in 2017 is United's only loss in their last 16 FA Cup games
- Chelsea have won the FA Cup four times this century compared to two for United
- Chelsea have lost one of their last 12 FA Cup ties - last year's final against Arsenal.
- The last side to lose two straight FA Cup Finals was Newcastle United in 1998 and 1999
- Chelsea are unbeaten in their last four FA Cup ties against United last losing in 1999
Today's Main Tip
Glamorgan to beat Middlesex at Evens with Ladbrokes.
Betfair have enhanced odds for the Champions League final.
888Sport have an offer related to the Champions League final.
Ladbrokes have enhanced odds for the match between Real Madrid and Liverpool.
BetVictor's version of customised betting is called PriceItUp.
William Hill's odds For England to win the World Cup.
Coral's odds for Harry Kane to be the World Cup top scorer.
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