Wembley will be filled to the brim with a sea of red and blue fans as they prepare for the 137th FA cup final between Manchester United and Chelsea.
Both teams have had underwhelming seasons to say the least. Chelsea, who were last years premier league champions, have finished fifth this year in the league, qualifying for the Europa league.
Manchester United finished second in the league, which is usually respectable, except for the fact that they were 19 points behind the winners and their arch-rivals, Manchester City. They also bowed out of the Champions league to Sevilla in the last 16 of the competition.
Cahill and Rashford contesting for the ball. Credit: Chelseafc.com
Both teams need a win here to save their seasons from being a failure. Neither team have won a trophy this season, and both have been under-performing for most of the year. Whether this is due to stars not playing to their best, or the teams have just made silly mistakes at crucial times along the season that they wouldn’t have usually.
Antonio Conte seems to have one foot out the door at Chelsea. Having won the premier league last year, Chelsea fans were looking for back to back successes in the competition. They weren’t even close this year at all, finishing 30 points behind the winners, Man City.
Mourinho is a very divisive character. Having won 3 trophies last year for United (EFL Cup, Europa League, The Community Shield) many fans are still unhappy with his style of play and his ‘park the bus’ mentality. He really needs a win this Sunday to keep the fans at bay for another while.
It is very tough to know who will win the FA cup this year. Both teams haven’t exactly been smashing teams on the route to the final this year. Man United were very lucky to get through the semi final against Tottenham Hotspur. The mixture of United pulling it together and the typical ‘bottling’ performance by Spurs, saw the Manchester side reach the final.
One of the most intriguing parts of this final won’t be on the pitch, but in the dugout. Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte do not like each other at all. The pair have been involved in several touchline confrontations dating back to October 2016, when Mourinho suggested Conte had “humiliated” him and his players by celebrating Chelsea’s fourth goal in a 4-0 win over United. Since then it has been a back and forth between the two managers whenever they play against each other. It will be interesting to see who will get the last laugh on Sunday.
Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte clashing in the dugout. Credit: adelove.com
This match is a tough one to call. Either team can win it on the day, both have had similar success this season overall. Whatever way it goes, it wont be a goal fest. Mourinhos style wont allow for that, so expect quite a dull final regardless.
Manchester United vs Chelsea, 19th may 2018, Wembley stadium, Kick off 5:15 pm