Man Utd, Chelsea seek to end season with silverware

Winning the FA Cup will provide a small degree of satisfaction for Manchester United and Chelsea, which have had largely disappointing seasons.

Man Utd, Chelsea seek to end season with silverware

Manchester United and Chelsea’s seasons have been disappointing in different ways. Despite finishing second in the Premier League to the eventual champion Manchester City, United failed to provide a sustained title challenge. It has also finished behind its derby rival for the fifth straight season. Being knocked out by Sevilla in the round of 16 of the Champions League only caused further disappointment just after the turn of the year.

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Chelsea did not only put up a meek defence of its title but once again finished outside the Champions League places in the season after winning the title. Antonio Conte seems likely to leave after spending much of the season lamenting about the club’s failure to strengthen the squad last summer. (The results have been way below expectations, too.) His likely departure means Chelsea continues to lack the managerial stability that has been a feature of the club since Roman Abramovich bought it in 2003.

 

The FA Cup final has come at the end of disappointing campaigns for these two clubs, providing them a chance to win a silverware and end the season on a positive note. Whether winning the cup will alleviate some of the disappointment is debatable, but neither will take it lightly. For Jose Mourinho and Conte, this is also a chance to win a trophy for the second season in a row.

Team news

Manchester United has been sweating on the fitness of Romelu Lukaku, who sustained an ankle injury in the home win over Arsenal in April and hasn't featured in any of the three fixtures since. In the pre-match press conference on Friday, Mourinho said he will wait until the last moment to decide on Lukaku's inclusion in the squad. Anthony Martial missed the last Premier League fixture against Watford because of a knee injury, but he has een passed fit by his manager.

Danny Drinkwater (calf strain) and Ethan Ampadu (fractured right ankle) are the injury absentees for Chelsea.

Possible line-ups and formations

Possible Manchester United starting XI (4-3-3): David de Gea (GK); Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Ashley Young; Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba; Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Alexis Sanchez

Possible Chelsea starting XI (3-4-3): Willy Caballero (GK); Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger; Victor Moses, Cesc Fabregas, N'Golo Kante, Marcos Alonso; Willian, Olivier Giroud, Eden Hazard

Stats

  • United was the most recent winner of the competition, having won in 2016; it is chasing its 13th FA Cup win
  • Chelsea went down 2-1 to Arsenal in last season’s final
  • The west London club is trying to win the FA Cup for an eighth time