Verdict: Man Utd
A replay of the 1990 FA Cup final will see Manchester United make effort to end a 12-year wait for a triumph in the competition as Louis van Gaal attempts to claim his first trophy as Manchester United manager.
Palace are heading into the FA Cup final as underdogs, aware of the challenge that lies ahead. However, Alan Pardew’s men have been on a roll within this competition, having already dispatched the likes of Southampton, Stoke City, Tottenham, Reading and Watford to earn their place in the finals and it is fair to say that Palace will enter the showpiece match feeling motivated to continue the momentum. With the Premier League spot safe and sound, Crystal Palace will have to overcome the recent dip in form which sae them fail to win any on their last five matches at home, while they have also been beaten 4-1 by Southampton in the final day of the season. This campaign’s disappointment has been put in the shadow of the FA Cup success and Alan Pardew really has a chance to make amends for a truly disappointing season. The forthcoming match will provide Crystal Palace manager with a personal vendetta of sort as he was part of that Palace team that lost to Manchester United in the 1990 FA Cup final.
Return of Bacary Sako will be a timely boost for Crystal Palace, while Wilfried Zaha is in line to make a start against his former employers.
Emmanuel Adebayor is expected to lead the line in attack in what is possibly his last appearance for Crystal Palace. Joe Ledley is out of contention and he will be the only one Pardew will not be able to count on.
Red Devils have seen their improved run of form towards the end of the Premier League season go to waste as the team’s bravery counted for nothing with Manchester City still finishing in fourth place leaving Manchester United out of the Champions League once again. Louis van Gaal has had an erratic time at Manchester United helm as he was criticised and praised at the same time for his tactics and for the introduction of young talents from the club’s academy, respectively. Msrcus Rashford has been the most outstanding example of Van Gaal’s youth policy as the 18-year-old striker made it all the way up to England call-up. The FA Cup final could very well be his last match as Man Utd boss as the Dutchman is widely tipped to leave the post this summer. Jose Mourinho is being mentioned as his successor, but Van Gaal refuses to talk about his future at the club and is concentrated on making a result at Wembley. The upcoming match will be Manchester United’s first FA Cup final appearance since 2007which only adds up to the importance of the game.
Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian have shook off their injuries and will be in contention for the weekend’s game.
Marouanre Fellaini is also available having served his three-game ban, while Luke Shaw and Bastian Schweinsteiger remain the only two players unavailable for Red Devils.
Key Factors to Consider
- Man Utd have last won the FA Cup in 1990
- Crystal Palace have lost ther last three matches at Wembley
- Pardew’s side failed to win any of their last 4 fixtures
- Red Devils so far took part in 18 FA Cup finals
- Van Gaal could win his 1st trophy as Man Utd manager
The FA Cup derby will be a game with plenty of history behind it as it will be a repeat from Manchester United’s last victory in the competition. Red Devils have seen their form go up towards the end of the Premier League season, but their morale could have been affected by missing out on the Champions League spot. Both teams are looking to end their season on a high and lift the trophy which would help them make amends for a disappointing season.
Verdict: Man Utd