Both Manchester United and Chelsea revealed their kits for the 2018/19 season last week (on the SAME day- May 11, if we may add!). This weekend, both teams will square off in the FA Cup final- the only chance of silverware this season for both Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte after a relatively disappointing season for the duo on both domestic and continental fronts.
United opted to unveil their third kit first, a blue strip made of Parley ocean plastic paying homage to the 50th anniversary of their famous 1968 European triumph.
Chelsea revealed their home kit, which was mocked by some fans as “looking like a bus seat”. The uniform didn’t have a great beginning either- the Blues wore it on the final day of the season against Newcastle (their 1000th Premier League game), but suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Rafa Benitez’s side and will now have to do without Champions League football next season.
The last time an Adidas team won this trophy was also United, back in 2015/16, in the first season of their new kit deal. One has to go back to 2013/14, when Arsenal used to wear Nike, for the American sportswear giant’s last FA Cup win. A look at the football betting section at Betting.com reveals United are marginal favourites, with the Red Devils currently being quoted at 17/10 to triumph at Wembley.
The Blues are bidding to win the Cup for the first time in six years- their last win came in 2012 over Liverpool (interestingly enough, they wore Adidas then). They were also losing finalists last season against Arsenal. Nobody really expects Antonio Conte to stay beyond the current season, but the Italian will like to leave Stamford Bridge with silverware- a fifth place finish in the league, an exit in the Round of 16 of the Champions League and no success on the Cup front is not the way he would have wanted this season to pan out.
The Saturday showdown will be United’s 20th FA Cup final, and they can go level with Arsenal for most Cup wins if they get the better of Antonio Conte’s men. The Red Devils came from behind to win in their semifinal against Tottenham Hotspur, with goals from Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera booking their spot in the final. Chelsea had a slightly easier last four tie, with Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata’s second half strikes easing them past Southampton.
United are sweating on the fitness of both Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku, who are suffering from knee and ankle injuries respectively.
Newcastle 3-1 Chelsea
Chelsea 1-1 Huddersfield
Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool
Swansea 0-1 Chelsea
Chelsea 2-0 Southampton
Manchester United 1-0 Watford
West Ham 0-0 Manchester United
Brighton 1-0 Man Utd
Man Utd 2-1 Arsenal
Man Utd 2-1 Tottenham
Head to head this season
Manchester United 2 (Lukaku, Lingard) beat Chelsea 1 (Willian) at Old Trafford on 25 February, 2018
Chelsea 1 (Morata) beat Manchester United 0 at Stamford Bridge on 5 November, 2017
This will be a tight one to call given that it’s being played at a neutral venue. It’s also on the same day as the Royal Wedding!
Chelsea v Manchester United in the FA Cup final on 19 May, 2018 (Saturday) at 17.15 BST