Who is your pick for FA Cup Final glory? Chelsea or Manchester United?
This weekend it is one of the prime fixtures of the football season in England as Chelsea and Manchester United meet at Wembley on Saturday evening to contest the FA Cup Final. The date is always one of the biggest in the football calendar in the UK and it attracts not just a massive worldwide global TV audience, but also plenty of betting on the event around the world.
So if you are looking for some quality tips on the event, then check out our preview below and if you fancy a flutter then we would recommend you take a look at the wide range of betting markets available at our partner site bet365.
We’ll bring you more on our tips for the game at the end of the article but for now, let’s take a quick look at both the sides that will contest the final on Saturday. The game starts at 5.15 UK time and will be shown live in the UK on terrestrial TV by BBC One and also on subscription channel BT Sport.
FA Cup Final Preview – Chelsea
How Chelsea reached Wembley
- 3rd Round – (A) v Norwich City – D 0-0
- 3rd Round Replay – (H) v Norwich City – D 1-1 – Batshuayi 55 (won 5-3 on pens)
- 4th Round – (H) v Newcastle – W 3-0 – Batshuayi 31, 44, Marcos Alonso 72
- 5th Round – (H) v Hull City – W 4-0 – Willian 2,32, Pedro 27, Giroud 42
- Quarterfinals – (A) v Leicester – W 2-1 (aet) – Morata 42, Pedro 105
- Semifinals – (N) v Southampton – W 2-0 – Giroud 46, Morata 82
Manager – Antonio Conte
It’s been a turbulent year for Antonio Conte, just 12 months after securing the Premier League title for Chelsea, the Italian has overseen a disappointing Premier League campaign that saw them lose 10 of their 38 league games, as well as exiting the Champions League at the Round of 16 stage to Barcelona. Rumours abound that Conte is on his way out of the club and back to Italy and his demeanour does tend to suggest a manager that has a future elsewhere away from the club. If this is to be his last game as Chelsea boss, will he be able to inspire his team to a win to leave them at least with some silverware this season?
Chelsea – Current Form
Until the final week of the season, Chelsea’s recent form had been good with a string of wins, most notably over Liverpool, meaning that they stood a chance, albeit a slim one, of pinching fourth place in the Premier League and with it a Champions League berth next season. However a draw at home with Huddersfield followed by a 3-0 defeat at Newcastle on the final day ended those hopes and ensures Chelsea come into this game not in the greatest of form or with the best mindset.
Chelsea Team News
Conte has a number of decisions to make for his team after rotating players freely over the last couple of weeks of the season. The main question marks are who will Chelsea select in goal (Caballero has played in all FA Cup games this season, but Courtois is the number 1 choice) and central defence, where it is likely three players, Cahill, Rudiger and Christensen vie for 2 slots alongside Azpilicueta. In attack, it seems like Olivier Giroud will get the nod over Alvaro Morata due to the Frenchman’s better goalscoring form of late.
Possible Chelsea XI
- Willy Caballero (Gk)
- Victor Moses (DMr)
- Marcos Alonso (DMl)
- Cesar Azpilicueta (Dc)
- Antonio Rudiger (Dc)
- Gary Cahill (Dc) Captain
- Ngolo Kante (Mc)
- Cesc Fabregas (Mc)
- Willian (AMrc)
- Eden Hazard (AMlc)
- Olivier Giroud (Ac)
FA Cup Final Preview – Manchester United
How Manchester United reached Wembley
- 3rd Round – (H) v Derby County – W 2-0 – Lingard 84, Lukaku 90
- 4th Round – (A) v Yeovil Town – W 4-0 – Rashford 41, Herrera 61, Lingard 89, Lukaku 90
- 5th Round – (A) v Huddersfield – W 2-0 – Lukaku 3, 55
- Quarterfinals – (H) v Brighton – W 2-0 – Lukaku 37, Matic 83
- Semifinals – (N) – Tottenham – W 2-1 – Sanchez 24, Herrera 62
Manager – Jose Mourinho
After claiming the Europa League last season to qualify for the Champions League, Jose Mourinho also improved on United’s league position from fifth to second this season, albeit the Red Devils were well off the pace set at the top of the table by Manchester City. With defeat by Sevilla eliminating United from the Champions League, they know that only a win here would rescue what would otherwise go down as a disappointing campaign. Mourinho has his critics and his style of football lacks the attacking swagger of great United teams of the past but he does have a knack of grinding out the right result on most occasions.
Manchester United – Current Form
United’s most recent form isn’t that great. They have managed just one goal in their last 270 minutes of Premier League football and have picked up just one win in those three games. But before that, United were on a four-game winning streak that secured them second place in the league table. Defensively United have been excellent all season long but it is their attack which has proved to be problematic and which will need to be bang on form here to get a result against a very decent Chelsea back line.
Manchester United Team News
Romelu Lukaku remains United’s greatest injury concern ahead of the final. The Belgian striker, who has netted in four of their five games in the FA Cup this season, has an ankle injury and his participation is not yet certain, though it seems that he should be fit. If not, then expect Lukaku to start on the bench with Rashford deputising. Goalkeeper Sergio Romero did start United’s first four FA Cup games, but David De Gea took over in the semi-final and will likely get the nod again here having been rested for the final Premier League game of the season against Watford.
Probable Manchester United XI
- David De Gea (Gk)
- Antonio Valencia (Dr) Captain
- Ashley Young (Dl)
- Chris Smalling (Dc)
- Phil Jones (Dc)
- Ander Herrera (DMc)
- Nemanja Matic (DMc)
- Paul Pogba (Mc)
- Alexis Sanchez (AMr)
- Jesse Lingard (AMl)
- Romelu Lukaku (Ac)
FA Cup Final Tips (odds by bet365)
Match Result – Draw – 3.20 with bet365
With neither team having picked up silverware this season, this game represents their last chance to do so. While United are for me the more consistent side, I do worry that if Lukaku is not 100% fit then they will struggle to puncture what is still, usually, a strong Chelsea defence. Chelsea are a more erratic side but in Willian and Hazard have players that can win any game. I see this one being very close and I think at the end of 90 minutes we will need extra time and maybe penalties to decide the winner.
Correct Score – Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United (after 90 minutes) – 6.00 with bet365
Having assumed that the game will be a draw then I think the sensible option here is to go with a 1-1 scoreline. Both teams have great attacking players that are liable to get a goal at any time and I can see both teams scoring, but I also feel that they are strong defensively, especially United and I think as a result, while both teams will score, it will just be the one goal each.
First Goalscorer – Olivier Giroud – 7.00 with bet365
As for who will score first, then my money is on ex-Arsenal man Olivier Giroud, who has a knack of getting big goals in big games for his team. I think Chelsea need to score first to stand a chance here as if United do, I think they will go on to win. However, Chelsea scored first in both games between the teams this season and I am backing them to do likewise here with Giroud in good form.