Manchester United has a chance to tie Arsenal as the most storied club in FA Cup history heading into Saturday’s match with Chelsea. The Red Devils have won 12 FA Cups in the last 136 years, trailing only Arsenal who leads the way with 13.
Over the last decade or so, Chelsea has been one of Manchester United’s biggest rivals. Chelsea has a chance to win their eighth FA Cup and send Antonio Conte out on a high note. However, the Blues are slight underdogs heading into the match.
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Chelsea vs. Manchester United
Date and Time: May 19, 2018, 12:15 p.m. ET
Location: Wembley Stadium
US Television Coverage: FOX
Betting Line: Manchester United PK -126, O/U 2
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Manchester United fans may not consider this season a successful one, but it certainly hasn’t been a poor effort. The club would have finished atop the Premier League in most years with 81 points, but Manchester City were simply unstoppable. Still, second place in the Premier League earns them an automatic bye into the Champions League Group Stage next season and they still have a chance to win some silverware.
It hasn’t been such a successful campaign for Chelsea. Owner Roman Abramovich has essentially replaced Conte already, he is just waiting for the end of the season to make it an official. The Blues finished fifth and will be playing in Europa League next season instead of in the Champions League. A trophy on the way out could help him land his next job rather quickly.
These teams met twice during the Premier League campaign with each club grabbing a victory. Chelsea was able to pull out a 1-0 victory in Stamford Bridge thanks to some good defending, while Manchester United erased an early deficit to win 2-1 at Old Trafford a few months ago.
Both prior meetings were relatively even with each team having a number of chances and roughly splitting possession.
Ethan Ampadu has been out for a while now for Chelsea and will not be available for this match. The Blues are more optimistic when it comes to two other long-term injuries though. David Luiz and Danny Drinkwater have each returned to practice and there is a chance that both will be available for this match. While neither player is considered probable, possible is better than each has been in some time.
Manchester United has not had Marouane Fellaini for most of their matches this calendar year, and he has been declared out for this tilt. The club feels better about the chances of Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial. Lukaku and Martial both suffered knocks in the last few days and each player is seen as questionable. In particular, not having Lukaku would be a loss. He was at his best the last time Manchester United faced Chelsea.
FA Cup Final Free Picks
Conte is one of the best when it comes to drawing up gameplans to keep an opponent from doing what it wants on offense. That has led to some surprise results, and they were even able to somewhat limit Barcelona’s effectiveness in Champions League play.
Chelsea will be able to fluster Manchester United for much of the match and these two clubs will end regulation knotted at one. In the extra period, Manchester United will break through though. Paul Pogba has been in very good form recently and Alexis Sanchez has had some flashes too. Provided either Martial or Lukaku is healthy enough to take the field, Manchester United will be able to beat a tired defense late. That makes the draw a good bet in regulation.
FA Cup Final Prediction: Manchester United 2, Chelsea 1 (ET)
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