Talking Points

Jose Mourinho will be looking to pile more misery on Antonio Conte when Manchester United play Chelsea in the FA Cup final on Saturday afternoon at Wembley.

This will be a big chance for both sides to secure a domestic trophy for this season, with Manchester City running away with the Premier League title and the League Cup.

Conte’s side go into the weekend encounter on the back of a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Newcastle, which ensured the London club missed out on Champions League football for the 2018/19 season.

Here we take a look at the threats facing Chelsea, who lost the FA Cup final last season to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal.

#1 Solid defence

Despite possessing many attacking players, Mourinho’s team will be hard to break down at the weekend. Both sides rely upon a solid base, so it won’t be a surprise if there is only one goal in the game. If United score first then the occasion, atmosphere, and the game might just get tough for a Chelsea team that has let their fans down a number of times this term. Over the course of the season, Mourinho’s side have won all of their 21 league matches when they have scored first. Added with that, since the start of the last campaign, they have kept 36 clean sheets, which is more than any other side. Regardless of the stick, Mourinho gets for his playing style, his team will be a tough nut to crack on the day.

#2 Jesse Lingard

Before a ball was kicked this season, not many Manchester United fans would have predicted that Jesse Lingard would have been one of their players of the season. The 25-year-old has had a magnificent campaign, scoring 13 goals in all competitions and providing seven assists. There is no doubt that the quick-footed attacker will play at the weekend and he will be a threat to Chelsea’s defence. When it comes to finals, Lingard has proven on a number of occasions that he is a winner and a proven performer. He has found the back of the net in an FA Cup, League Cup, and Charity Shield final, all of which have taken place at Wembley. Added with that, the England international scored the winning goal for United in their 2-1 win against Chelsea at Old Trafford in February.

#3 Strong bench

As mentioned before, Mourinho has been criticised for his style of play throughout the season by both his own supporters and neutrals. However, that doesn’t hide the fact that United possess great firepower, strength, and pace from the bench. It is probable that the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jose’s B plan, Marouane Fellaini, will be on the bench for the weekend. Regardless of where the game will be at, expect Mourinho to bring on his star players after the hour mark to either finish the game off or bring his side back into the match.