This seasons FA cup final will take place between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Wembley, on the 21st of May. Manchester United will start the game as huge favourites to lift the trophy. Louis Van Gaals team will be looking to end a relatively disappointing campaign by adding some silverware. While Crystal Palace will have their sights set on producing a big upset, by claiming the prestigious trophy.
Crystal Palace thoroughly deserve their place in the final. They faced tough opposition on their way to booking their place at Wembley. With victories over Premier League opposition: Southampton, Stoke City, Tottenham Hotspurs, and Watford. They are now just one win away from triumphing in the FA cup for the first time in their history.
Alan Pardew had an instant impact when he was appointed as manager of Crystal Palace. He instilled confidence into his players, which immediately translated onto the pitch. Palace began to play good football under their new manager, results started to improve.
Although the last few months haven’t been so good – Palace have had a huge dip in form in the Premier League, which has seen them slip down the table. However, if they were to win the FA cup – all of that would be forgotten. Palace won’t be relegated this season. If you asked the Crystal Palace fans would they rather finish mid table in the Premier League, or finish just above the relegation zone but also make it to the FA cup final, I think I know which they would have chosen at the beginning of the season.
Manchester United have had an unremarkable season by their own high standards. Lifting the FA cup will be seen as a small success for the club – a building block for what they hope to achieve in the near future. Even if they do win the trophy, it may still not be enough for manager Louis Van Gaal to secure his job for next season.
It is strange to have witnessed what has happened to Manchester United since Alex Ferguson retired. Louis Van Gaal has a tough job on his hands if he is to bring success back to the club. Winning the FA cup would be the first piece in the puzzle.
The main criticism of this Manchester United team has been that they play slow, defensive, unattractive football. Compared to Manchester United teams of the past, this is true. Would winning the FA cup be enough to convince the fans, and more importantly the board that manager Louis Van Gaal is taking the club in the right direction? Many people expect Jose Mourinho to be the new Manchester United manager next season. If United don’t win the cup, this possibility will look increasingly more likely.
If Crystal Palace are to spring an upset, they will have to play to their strengths. Defend in numbers, and hit Man United on the counter-attack. Yannick Bolasie will be key for Palace’s chances of a victory. His pace could cause Manchester United all kinds of problems.
Manchester United will look to keep the ball, and control the game from the start. If they manage to do this – they will have a great chance of lifting the trophy. The return to fitness of Wayne Rooney could prove vital for the red devils. Rooney has had a fairly poor season, but I wouldn’t bet against him scoring the winning goal in the final.
Manchester United are currently playing with confidence, and because of that they are winning games. So the players will feel good about their chances of winning the FA cup. Can the same be said of the Crystal Palace players? Who find themselves in a poor run of form. All 11 Palace players have to play to the top of their game if they are to stand a chance of winning. However, we have already witnessed this season that anything can happen in football.
It will be a close game. Both sets of players will give it everything they have got. It isn’t every day you get to play in front of a packed stadium at Wembley – in the FA cup final. This could well be the biggest game of some of these players careers. The last thing the players will want to do is look back on this game with regrets, thinking about what could have happened..
Manchester United are the better team on paper. Although as we know, anything can happen in football, especially in a one off game. Palace will need to keep the game tight, and not concede too early. If they can do that they will give themselves a good chance.
I think Man United will score early, and dominate the game from then on. Eventually winning 2-0. They have the better, and more experienced players. Also, it is hard to imagine Man United going another season without picking up any silverware.