Conte and Mourinho meet head to head in the FA Cup final

Last updated: May 18, 2018 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 18:15
Venue: Wembley
Coverage: BBC
Home Team Form: WWWDL
Away Team Form: WWLDW
Last Meeting: Man Utd 2 – 1 Chelsea
Competition: FA Cup

It has long been said that the FA Cup has lost its magic. The competition was in the past a revered trophy to win, with victorious managers earning legendary status at their respective clubs after victory or a good cup run from a lower club. Nowadays though it’s difficult to argue against the fact that the magic has disappeared. However, in tomorrow’s meeting between Chelsea and Manchester United, at least we have a bit of good old fashioned rivalry to look forward to.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte took aim at Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho earlier in the season with a string of public insults, which Mourinho was kind enough to quickly reciprocate. That rivalry continues and with Chelsea finishing outside of the Champions League spots and United finishing a distant second to neighbours Manchester City, this match is the only chance of silverware – and bragging rights – that each team and manager have.

It may also be Conte’s last match as Chelsea manager. The Italian has made little secret of the fact he is not entirely happy and a move back to his homeland looks likely, whatever the result of this match. Nevertheless, after winning the Premier League last season, making it two trophies in two years would be a fantastic achievement to add to his already stellar CV. Chelsea finished a disappointing season in a disappointing manner, after being thrashed by Newcastle, despite knowing a win might have sneaked them into fourth spot, should Liverpool have lost. That wasn’t enough to rouse a performance from the players, so perhaps this match won’t be either? Eden Hazard has made it clear that his staying at Chelsea depends on quality summer signings and should the Belgian and Conte both leave, there will be significant rebuilding to be done. Alvaro Morata has hardly had a dream first season at the club and may not start ahead of January signing Olivier Giroud.

Mourinho too would welcome another trophy during his stint as Manchester United manager. The accomplishment of finishing second was far from celebrated due to how far United were behind City in first place, so a trophy here would at least give the fans at Old Trafford something to cheer about. A win here would also set up a Community Shield clash with neighbours City, where another victory would raise Mourinho’s stock with the fans even further. The criticisms have been towards the style of play employed by the manager. Slow and boring are two simple but adequate words to describe the performances this season and fans’ patience was wearing thin. There’s little to suggest the style will change here and we could be set for a drab game. The big news will be whether Romelu Lukaku starts up front for United, after the Belgian was injured in April. He is expected to be fit, but whether he will be sharp is another question.

Team News

David Luiz’s season has been blighted by injury and an ankle injury will likely see him miss out.

Danny Drinkwater and Ethan Ampadu are also set to miss out for Chelsea.

Lukaku hasn’t played since the end of April when he was injured against Arsenal. He is expected to be fit to start, but whether he will be sharp enough to be effective remains to be seen.

Anthony Martial and Marouane Fellaini are the two other United players who are carrying knocks and could miss out.

Expected Line-Ups:

Chelsea (4-3-2-1): Courtois, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill, Alonso, Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Hazard, Morata, Willian
Subs: Ruediger, Zappacosta, Caballero, Barkley, Pedro, Bakayoko, Giroud
Injured: Luiz, Drinkwater, Ampadu
Not available:
Man Utd (4-2-3-1): De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Young, Pogba, Matic, Mata, Sanchez, Lingard, Lukaku
Subs: Romero, Lindelof, Rojo, Bailly, McTominay, Rashford, Carrick, Martial
Doubtful: Martial, Fellaini
Not available:

Head to Head

Last Five Competitive Meetings Between The Sides
Date Game Result Round First Goal-scorer
25/02/2018 Man Utd 2 – 1 Chelsea Premier League Willian 32′
05/11/2017 Chelsea 1 – 0 Man Utd Premier League Morata 55′
16/04/2017 Man Utd 2 – 0 Chelsea Premier League Rashford 7′
13/03/2017 Chelsea 1 – 0 Man Utd FA Cup Kante 51′
23/10/2016 Chelsea 4 – 0 Man Utd Premier League Pedro 1′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Chelsea ended the season disappointingly and United have been criticised of playing boring football all season. That probably means we’re not in for the most exciting of games here, but, you never know, perhaps we’ll be surprised with a cracker.

That would be a shock though, as both managers will want a win. We expect it to be tight and will therefore be going with under 2.5 goals, which you can get at Coral. As to who will win, if pushed, we’d say United.