Big Match Breakdown: Chelsea v Man United
Cian Carroll | 19 May 2018
Preview and tips ahead of the curtain-closer
The 2018 FA Cup Final sees Chelsea play Manchester United under the iconic Wembley Arch on Saturday evening.
Jose Mourinho takes on his former club hoping to win the competition for only the second time in his career.
Antonio Conte could well be exiting Stamford Bridge this season. And if the Italian is to leave, going with a piece of silverware would be ideal.
The Coral News Team previews the showpiece with a special Big Match Breakdown…
This pair has quite the chequered history, particularly at Wembley. The Blues and United are meeting for the eighth time at the national stadium.
But they haven’t actually clashed under the Arch since the 2010 Community Shield where the Stamford Bridge outfit lost 3-1.
N’Golo Kante scored a rare winner the last time the two played in the FA Cup back last season at the Bridge. Overall, United hold the better record with 77 wins to Chelsea’s 53, including 49 draws.
Chelsea’s only injury absentees will be Danny Drinkwater and David Luiz. Otherwise, Conte has a fully fit squad to select from.
The Blues’ boss will have some big calls to make. Willy Caballero has started every FA Cup game so far. But Thibaut Courtois is expected to get the nod from the start.
Olivier Giroud should start up top ahead of Alvaro Morata, while Willian is likely to play on the flank alongside Eden Hazard.
Mourinho is sweating over the fitness of Romelu Lukaku. But the Belgian should start even if he’s not fully fit. Juan Mata could replace Marcus Rashford on the flank.
Recent games between these two have generally been tight. And that’s mostly down to the managers’ styles and formations.
Chelsea will probably enjoy a bit more possession, but both sides employ counter-attacking tactics in big games.
Whose defence holds up better here could be key. The Red Devils play a bit more narrowly compared to Blues’ width. United’s full-backs will need to be wary of Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso’s forays down the flanks.
If Lukaku doesn’t make it, a lot will depend on Alexis Sanchez to make things happen for United up-front.
Chelsea are currently slight outsiders at 15/8, with Man United at 13/8. The Draw is available at 2/1.
Mourinho’s predilection for keeping it tight in big games is well known. Since the Portuguese tactician returned to the Premier League, 15 of his 22 away games against the big six have gone Under 2.5 Goals. That’s 4/7 here.
United have won five of their last six against the big six teams, whereas Chelsea have won just two of their last 10. But the concern for Mourinho will be Lukaku’s fitness. Will the Belgium international be fit enough to be fully effective?
The former Chelsea striker is a match-winner and United have struggled for goals without him. He’s 2/1 to score Anytime and 5/1 to break the deadlock.
For Blues, Giroud has been in relatively decent form and scored a cracker in the semi-final against Southampton. The French striker is 2/1 to net Anytime.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing