FA Cup Final: Man United v Chelsea in Battle Royale

Premier League giants Manchester United and Chelsea hit Wembley for an epic FA Cup final on Saturday to bring a close to the English football season.

On a day when England is gripped with the fever of a royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, it promises to be an epic encounter between two of the bitterest rivals of the English game as both clubs look for Cup glory to salvage what has otherwise been disappointing campaigns.

United finished second in the Premier League behind undisputed champions Manchester City, but lack of silverware and their inability to mount a real challenge for the title has left an air of disappointment at Old Trafford.

Chelsea, on the other hand, have had a season to forget after a disastrous defence of their title saw them finish out of the Champions League places for the second time in three seasons.

The Blues are targeting an eighth Cup triumph while the Red Devils are looking to tie Arsenal on 13 trophies.

United come in as the slight favourites for this tie seeing as they finished the campaign stronger, but the last time both sides faced off in the final, it was Chelsea, led by Jose Mourinho, who won the day thanks to a Didier Drogba late effort.

Blues
Chelsea on redemption mission. Image: Guardian

The game has the extra piquancy of the managerial feud between Chelsea manager Antonio Conte and Mourinho, although the Italian said post-match he will shake his opposite number’s hand before the match.

“Tomorrow I will shake his hand and both of us will think of the game,” Conte said.

Chelsea are also on a redemption mission after losing last year’s Cup final 2-1 to Arsenal, and the fact is not lost on Conte.

“For us this game is very important because we have in a difficult season [the chance] to finish the season with a trophy.”

Mourinho meanwhile, says his team’s campaign will not be judged on the outcome of Saturday’s final.

“I honestly think what we did in the past has nothing to do with tomorrow and the records don’t matter. What matters is 11 against 11 and everybody trying to give their best,” he said.

Expect a tight affair as contests between the two finalists have been tight in recent years with only three or more goals scored on three occasions in the past 13 meetings.

And as Mou said: 6-0 is “not entertaining” to him!

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