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There’s a royal wedding on the way, although it clashes with arguably a bigger occasion, certainly if you’re a football fan, when Chelsea take on Manchester United in the FA Cup final on May 19th.
With both sides desperate to fill their trophy cabinets, the giants of London and Manchester will be going all out for success, with a lot on the line. But who is looking slightly ahead of the other? Who is likely to grind out the win? Could it be a one-sided affair, perhaps?
United’s attacking prowess could conquer
Romelu Lukaku is a sure bet to be leading the Manchester United line on the day, with his first season at the Red Devils bringing a return of 21 goals in 41 appearances - an impressive tally considering the undoubted pressure on his shoulders this campaign.
Despite the fact United’s Premier League title-tilt never really got going, with Mourinho’s men well off the pace of their bitter rivals, Lukaku’s overall form throughout the course of the season will please the Portuguese.
United are best-priced at 5/6 with Betfred to equal Arsenal’s record of 13 FA Cup wins, but it might be worth checking out the latest enhanced betting odds from major bookmakers to see if you can get a better price on Mourinho’s men.
For Jose Mourinho’s side to stand any chance of success, their usually compact defensive unit is going to need to hold firm and keep the likes of Hazard and Morata out, with Romelu Lukaku and his teammates, such as Pogba, Rashford and Mata, providing the attacking spark at the other end of the pitch.
Much like their 2-1 semi-final win over Tottenham, a complete team performance will be needed from United, who are 6/4 (Bet365) to win in 90 minutes.
Chelsea love a big occasion
Following Chelsea’s 2-0 FA Cup semi-final win over Southampton, where Olivier Giroud’s stunning goal was a particular highlight, the Blues will be keen to take the game to United and let the likes of Eden Hazard, Alvaro Morata and Willian off the leash in the hope that they wreak havoc on United’s occasionally suspect defence.
(Image via https://twitter.com/WorldWideChels)
Currently rated at 1/1 with Paddy Power to lift the cup (7/4 in 90 minutes), Antonio Conte’s side, despite their fairly forgettable season, pose a real threat. The favourites tag has been well and truly gifted to United, but that won’t bother Chelsea in the slightest. The Blues love upsetting odds, as they’ve done countless times in cup competitions. Remember their Champions League final success? Nobody expected that.
Antonio Conte seems a sure bet to depart the club in the summer, with Ladbrokes offering 1/4 for the Italian to be sacked before the end of the season. Should his likely exit materialise, he’ll be keen to sign off with a memorable day out at Wembley.
As with the final in 2007 when both sides met, Chelsea were slight underdogs then but still came out on top with a 1-0 victory thanks to Didier Drogba’s tidy finish past Edwin van der Sar in extra-time. It’s 11/1 (Bet365) for Chelsea to repeat the trick and win in extra-time.
Could the same thing that happened in 2007 happen again at Wembley in May? Quite possibly. Chelsea haven’t won the competition since 2012, so they’ll feel that they are due some FA Cup success.
It’s a tough FA Cup final to predict, with the possibility of a tight, cagey affair on the cards (most bookies go around 7/1 on 0-0). One thing is for certain though, it’s a game not to be missed, even with the royal wedding on!