Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Prediction: Chelsea vs Manchester United

Predicton: Alexis Sanchez anytime goalscorer

Odds: 5/2

Bookmaker:Bet365

Chelsea and Manchester United face off on Saturday afternoon, both gunning to lift the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium.

The two come together having lifted the trophy an eye-watering 19 times between them, and this fixture holds considerable importance for both Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte.

Chelsea

Having not won the FA Cup since 2012, edging past their former manager this weekend would represent a huge success for the Blues this season considering their disappointing league campaign – in which they finished fifth. Antonio Conte is under considerable pressure and now looks set to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the campaign, so a trophy would be the best way to potentially round-off his career in London.

The Italian will be keen to rectify the mistakes of 12 months ago, too. Chelsea also reached the FA Cup final in 2015/16, only to lose 2-1 to Arsenal with Victor Moses awarded a late red in the second-half. Their route to the final this year, however, has not been the most convincing. It took a replay to edge past Championship outfit Norwich City in the third-round, whilst they also required extra-time to beat Leicester City in the quarter-finals. Having said that, they have only conceded two goals in the competition this season so it could be their defence that proves decisive against the Red Devils.

Team News

Conte does not have all too many injury problems to navigate this weekend with only three absentees. Midfielder Danny Drinkwater is restricted to the sidelines with a calf strain. Defenders David Luiz and Ethan Ampadu are also out with a knee injury and broken ankle respectively.

Manchester United

If Manchester United manage to win the FA Cup this season, it would draw them level with Arsenal for the most FA Cup wins with 13. The Red Devils run to Wembley has been impressive, too. They have scythed down Derby County, Yeovil Town, Huddersfield Town, Brighton & Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur on route to the final. As a matter of fact, they have scored 12 goals and conceded only one in the competition in that time.

Despite their imperious run, fans have not been convinced with Jose Mourinho’s methods this season. Eventually finishing 19 points behind neighbours Manchester City, the Red Devils flattered to deceive in the league this season, so the FA Cup could relieve considerable pressure surrounding the Portuguese. He could turn to United’s excellent recent record in the competition for inspiration if needed. They have only lost one out of their last 16 games in the competition, lifting the trophy in that time under Louis van Gaal in 2016.

Team News

Leading forward Romelu Lukaku is a slight doubt with an ankle injury, and could be joined on the sidelines by Marouane Fellaini who will be subjected to a late fitness test. Anthony Martial could return to action from his knee problem.

Key Facts to Consider

  • Manchester United have better record all-time between the two sides (W77, D49, L53)
  • The Red Devils won the last clash between the two at Old Trafford 2-1 in February
  • Chelsea won 1-0 the last time the two sides met in the FA Cup
  • The two teams met in the FA Cup final back in 2007, with Chelsea winning 1-0
  • Alexis Sanchez has scored nine goals in his last 15 FA Cup matches

Conclusion

Whilst it is going to be a competitive clash at Wembley, Manchester United should just have the edge. Their forward line will be too much for Chelsea to cope with and they will lift the FA Cup. Alexis Sanchez should prove pivotal after netting in the semi-final and should score again.

Predicton: Alexis Sanchez anytime goalscorer

Odds: 5/2

Bookmaker:Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is currently a second-year football journalism student at the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately four years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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