FA Cup final: Five talking points

Chelsea Manchester United

Rivals in more ways than one, Manchester United and Chelsea square off at Wembley on Saturday with nothing less than the FA Cup up for grabs.

Both teams have one more chance at silverware this season, and both managers have their own reasons for wanting to claim the cup.

For United manager Jose Mourinho, another chance to get one over on the club that sacked him, and for Blues boss Antonio Conte, a chance to salvage a highly disappointing follow-up season following last year’s Premier League title-winning campaign.

Mourinho’s trophy quest

Jose Mourinho

Whatever you think of United boss Jose Mourinho, you can’t deny he has a knack for collecting silverware. Even during a lackluster first season with the Red Devils, the ‘Special One’ was still able to deliver League Cup and Europa League success.

In all, Mourinho has won 11 trophies during him time in England, and not many will bet against him making it 12 come Saturday.

Doing so would also hand his new club their 13th FA Cup success, and might just tip the scales in Mourinho’s favour when a final analysis of United’s season is carried out.

The end of Antonio?

While both managers desperately want a victory, the final result is arguably a lot more important for Antonio Conte.

Despite delivering the title in his first year in charge, Conte’s future now looks highly uncertain after he was unable to secure Champions League football for another year.

The Italian has looked an increasingly unhappy figure at Stamford Bridge in recent months, and with tensions already simmering over a lack of transfer activity, it seems defeat at Wembley could spell a certain end for Conte in London.

United’s injury worries

Take Romelu Lukaku out of the United line-up and it suddenly looks a lot less threatening.

Mourinho will be hoping that his star striker passes a late fitness test and can be included in the starting line-up for Saturday’s clash.

Lukaku hit 27 goals in his first season at Old Trafford, and even more excitingly from a United perspective, he has scored in every round of the FA Cup until the semi-final win over Tottenham.

If he doesn’t recover from an ankle injury in time, however, he might have to start from the bench – or even worse, miss the match altogether.

To make matters worse, Mourinho could be robbed of another option with Anthony Martial also a doubt after missing United’s final league game of the season with a knee injury.

Conte’s selection dilemma

Who will Antonio Conte select to start in attack for Chelsea on Saturday? Their £70 million man Alvaro Morata, or new arrival Olivier Giroud, who cost them just £18m?

Morata arrived from Real Madrid with a big reputation but has managed just 11 Premier League goals following the big-money move.

Giroud has quickly become a fan favourite since arriving in the January window and has seldom failed to make an impact when called upon.

No doubt Giroud would be a popular choice, but Conte may feel some return on that Morata investment is due.

A tribute to Sir Alex and Ray

Sir Alex Ferguson

Expect tributes aplenty and high emotion at Wembley on Saturday as the teams and fans remember the late, great Ray Wilkins and show their support for Sir Alex Ferguson.

Wilkins passed away last month and is a big fan favourite among both United and Chelsea fans, having represented both clubs during his fantastic playing career.

And while the name Sir Alex might as well be synonymous with Manchester United, fans across England have joined the Manchester club in wishing their beloved boss a swift recovery after his surgery on a brain haemorrhage a fortnight ago.

One thing is certain: emotions will be running high, and it should make an already special occasion even more special.

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