MANCHESTER UNITED VS CHELSEA FA CUP FINAL PREVIEW
DATE : 19TH MAY, 2018
TIME : 05:15 PM
VENUE : WEMBLEY STADIUM, LONDON, ENGLAND
REFEREE :MICHAEL OLIVER
Manchester United will take on Chelsea in the 137th Emirates FA Cup final at the Wembley stadium. It’s a repeat of the first final held at the new Wembley in 2007, when Didier Drogba scored an extra-time winner as the Blues won 1-0 under Jose Mourinho. Both clubs will be looking to end the season by winning a Silverware. Jose Mourinho's will look to lift the famous trophy for the first time as United manager and claim his fourth piece of silverware to round off his second season while Chelsea will look to win the famous Cup to salvage their season having missed on the title challenge a long time ago and failed to clinch a Champions League qualification spot.
United are chasing a record-equalling 13th title, which would put them level with Arsenal as the most successful team in the competition's history, while Chelsea, who last won the FA Cup in 2012, will attempt to lift the vaunted trophy for the eighth time in their history.
The Blues overcame Southampton in the semi-final to bookend their season with a trip to England's famous 'Home of Football' and they will be particularly desperate to win having suffered a bitter defeat to London rivals Arsenal in the final last season.
The Red Devils, meanwhile, saw off Tottenham in the other semi-final.
It remains to be seen whether Romelu Lukaku, Marouane Fellaini and Anthony Martial will be fit enough to be involved. Top scorer Lukaku has missed the last three games after travelling to his native Belgium for treatment on the ankle injury sustained in last month’s win over Arsenal and faces a race to be ready to take on his former club on Saturday. Meanwhile, Mourinho confirmed after last Sunday’s 1-0 win over Watford that Martial had suffered an injury in training two days before and is therefore doubtful for this weekend’s big game. Fellaini hasn’t played in the last two games due to injury, since last appearing in the 1-0 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion. Conte's biggest selection call arguably comes in attack, where Olivier Giroud has outshined
Alvaro Morata since joining in January.
Former United midfielder Danny Drinkwater is out with a calf strain, meanwhile, and David Luiz has been unable to shake off a long-running knee problem.
Like their opponents, Chelsea may well turn to their first choice goalkeeper for the final, meaning a start for Thibaut Courtois over Willy Caballero .
MANCHESTER UNITED ROAD TO THE FINAL
United have advanced to the final by scoring 12 goals and conceding just once. The Reds saw off Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in last month’s semi-final and have beaten Derby County 2-0, Yeovil Town 4-0, Huddersfield 2-0 and Brighton 2-0 in previous rounds.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have had a less smooth passage to the showpiece. The Blues needed penalties in a replay to see off Championship side Norwich City in round three, but thrashed Newcastle 3-0 and Hull City 4-0 at home to make the quarter-finals, where they beat Leicester City 2-1 after extra-time, before a 2-0 win over Southampton in the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, the names of 137 goalscorers from this season’s FA Cup campaign – including Alexis Sanchez and Chelsea’s Willian – will feature on the ball for Saturday’s game, as part of the FA’s ‘Ball for All’ initiative to celebrate players from different divisions across the country that took part this term.
United will compete in a record-equalling 20th final and will be hoping to match Arsenal’s record of 13 FA Cup triumphs by lifting the trophy for the second time in three years.
Saturday’s showpiece will be Manchester United’s 52nd appearance at the webmaster stadium. The Reds have won on 28 of the previous 51 visits, drawing five and losing 18. Those games have included 18 FA Cup finals, seven League Cup finals and two European Cup finals.
United will come up against Chelsea at Wembley for an eighth time, which means they have faced Chelsea at the national stadium on more occasions than any other team.