Manchester United face Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday evening and are playing to level Arsenal’s record of lifting the illustrious trophy 13 times.
Man United earned a hard-fought 2-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-finals while Chelsea defeated Southampton 2-0 to reach their second consecutive final after losing 2-1 to Arsenal in last year’s showdown.
Both Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte, who could be managing his last match as Chelsea manager, are expected to name their strongest line-ups in the final domestic fixture of the English season.
Here are three United players who should be starting on the field to give Mourinho’s side the best chance of lifting a third major trophy in two seasons against the always-resolute Londoners.
Let’s be honest, it’s 99% nailed on that Nemanja Matic will start as the holding midfielder playing the anchor role in front of the defence.
Matic has had a tremendous first season at United after so much doubt about the fact that Jose Mourinho moved for him instead of younger options like AS Monaco’s Fabinho and has become a crucial member of the dressing room.
He’ll have to put personal friendships aside as he meets his former teammates, who he helped reached last season’s final with a stunning long-range strike against Spurs in the semi-finals, but he’s more than capable of making a real difference like he has done all term.
Eight Wembley goals and counting for Alexis Sanchez… in eight games!
Alexis has scored in every single match he has played at the national stadium, seven of those for Arsenal and his latest was the equaliser for United in this year’s semi-final, and he’ll be hungry to continue that streak come Saturday.
He has endured a rocky start to life at the club as he continues to adapt to the different demands of a very different manager than Arsene Wenger in Jose Mourinho, but could reach the pinnacle of his United career so far if he performs like he is capable of doing.
There are still question marks over whether Romelu Lukaku is even fit enough to feature in the final after not playing a minute since his injury in April’s 2-1 win over Arsenal.
However, it’s no secret that Jose Mourinho will be ordering his physio staff to do all they can to get his 27-goal man ready for what could be considered as the most important game of the season.
United have simply seemed flat whenever the Belgium-international hasn’t been present, but there is decent back-up in Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford if he doesn’t make it back in time for the big one.