The big tie of the FA Cup fifth round is going to the last one to kick off. On Monday night Manchester United will make the trip to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea. So another big name in the Cup will take a tumble. It’s an important game for both of these as they look to try and move towards securing some domestic silverware.
Manchester United 13/5
* (betting odds taken from Bet365 on February 14th, 2019 at 3:09 pm)
Manchester United won ten of their first eleven games under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who came in to replace Jose Mourinho last December. They had their first taste of defeat under him though in midweek, losing 2-0 at Old Trafford against PSG in the UEFA Champions League. But take out that result against a top team and Manchester United’s domestic form is sparkling.
Manchester United started their FA Cup campaign this season with a comfortable home win over Championship side Reading. That then set them up for a difficult away game at Arsenal in the fourth round. But the Red Devils didn’t blink an eye, they stuck to their new positive approach and got their just rewards of a 3-1 win over the Gunners. Now it’s back out on the road for them against another of the country’s top sides.
Manchester United earned a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea earlier this season in the Premier League. Things between the two sides are even with two wins each and that draw in their last five meetings. The Red Devils will arrive at the Bridge on a six-match winning streak away from Old Trafford. They have been scoring freely, a powerful counter-attacking plan helping them on that end. They have also taken four clean sheets in their last five away games.
Chelsea have lost four of their last nine games across all competitions. Last weekend they paid a league visit to Manchester City and were blasted out of sight in a 6-0 defeat. That heaped even more pressure on boss Maurizio Sarri in his first season in charge and you can see the frustration emanating from the manager. His team at times have looked unmotivated and Sarri hasn’t been quiet about holding the players themselves, including Eden Hazard, responsible.
But the interesting thing about Chelsea’s form is that their troubles have been away from home. Each of the four defeats in their last nine games have happened on their travels. Chelsea are actually on a five-match winning streak at the Bridge across all competitions.
But it is the lack of confidence from those away losses that could well have a knock-on effect. The Blues have made it to the EFL Cup Final where they face Man City soon, but they will be massive underdogs for that Wembley clash. The frailties that have shown up in their defence recently will come under some scrutiny.
Chelsea won the FA Cup Final last season against United thanks to an Eden Hazard penalty, the only goal of the match. Chelsea have won their last three FA Cup matches against the Red Devils by a 1-0 scoreline. In the last ten meetings in all competitions, it has been Chelsea in the ascendancy. The Blues have a W5 D3 L2 record against Manchester United in that sequence. The Blues are unbeaten in nine home games against Manchester United in all competitions.
Even though Chelsea boss the head to head recently over the Red Devils, the odds on Manchester United to beat Chelsea at 13/5 are pretty appealing* (betting odds taken from Bet365 on February 14th, 2019 at 3:09 pm). Chelsea rely heavily on one man (Eden Hazard) and their defence looks far from organised at the moment. They will be under pressure from a United side who have already proven themselves in a big FA Cup away match this season. Away win.
Looking back at the third round of the FA Cup there were plenty of upsets going around. League One side Gillingham took out Premier League side Cardiff for instance, while Newport County from League Two pulled off an even bigger shock in beating Leicester.
Other big winners pulling off shock wins included non-league Barnet beating Championship side Sheffield United and Oldham taking out Fulham.
24-year-old Laura Ward from Sheffield collected a great return of £8,800 from Betfred off a £1 bet on FA Cup giant-killers. The savvy punter correctly predicted four FA Cup third round upsets.
The picks that the punter went with were League Two’s Oldham taking a win at Premier League side Fulham at 9/1, Millwall beating Hull at 6/5 (the Lions were favourites), League One’s Doncaster getting the better of Championship side Preston at 3/1, non-league side Barnet beating Sheffield United, and that win for Newport over Leicester City.
The selections went into an accumulator.
Laura said: “I studied the Seventh Heaven coupon for about an hour and went for all the underdogs apart from Millwall beating Hull.
“I still can’t believe it, to win so much that could well transform my life for the sake of just £1 – it’s amazing!”
Betfred boss Fred Done said: “The third round might be fun for some people but it cost me well over half a million, with so many shock results and football fans like Laura picking my pocket with such tiny stakes.
It is the FA Cup final on Saturday from Wembley with Chelsea taking on Manchester United. Chelsea reached last season’s FA Cup final and they were favourites to win that game against rivals Arsenal but they ended up taking a 2-1 loss. Can they make up for that as well as putting a little bit of shine on what has been a disappointing season for them by taking down the Red Devils on the weekend? Just as it is for Chelsea this is Manchester United’s only shot at a piece of silverware this season will they be able to follow up on their 2016 FA cup victory?
Manchester United 8/5, Chelsea 19/10, Draw 11/5
This is a repeat of the 2006/07 FA Cup final which Chelsea won 1-0 in extra time against the Red Devils. That was incidentally, the first FA Cup final to be hosted at the new Wembley Stadium. However, in the overall head-to-head between Chelsea and Manchester United from previous FA Cup matches it is the Red Devils who are ahead 8-4 with two drawn matches. Manchester United have won the FA Cup 12 times before in their history from 19 previous final appearances while Chelsea have won the tournament seven times from 12 previous final appearances.
It has been a bit of a strange season from Chelsea as their Premier League title defence never really got going. They just were not as strong or as united as they were last season and the telling summer sales of Diego Costa and Nemanja Matic really left a considerable hole in the Chelsea team. The Blues do look to be struggling upfront in terms of lacking a really reliable heavyweight, world-class, out and out goalscorer. Alvaro Morata was brought in to replace Costa but he has not delivered the same kind of grit and fight and finishing quality that Costa brings to the table.
Chelsea still generally enjoy plenty of possession in games and are all right in building up a head of steam but in and around the box they just look a little bit lightweight. It may well be Olivier Giroud who gets the nod to start the game up front for the Blues. Chelsea produced a four-match winning streak in the Premier League to get themselves in the hunt for a top-four finish. But then their form just crashed as they could only manage a 1-1 home draw against Huddersfield and they produced a shocker of a performance in their 3-0 loss at Newcastle on the final day of the season.
The Blues just do not look sharp going forward and they do appear to be a little bit vulnerable at the back. Under 2.5 goals at bet365 is at 8/15 odds* (betting odds taken at 9:37 p.m. on May 15th, 2018). Three of the last four FA Cup finals that Chelsea have been involved in have all ended under the goal-line each of those being 1-0 success for the Blues. However, this time around Chelsea are underdogs under the challenge of Manchester United.
The Red Devils finished strong for the season winning 10 of their final 14 games in all competitions (D3 L1). So that’s the kind of form that you can’t really argue with and you know that they are going to turn up at Wembley and try to stay as tight and as organised as they possibly can. It is not too often this season that we have seen Manchester United open up and really take initiative in games. Even though their defence really is nothing great they have a huge bonus of having David de Gea between the sticks.
The Spaniard has had another tremendous season and really carries United’s defensive record on his shoulders. In the bet365 correct score market a Manchester United one-nil result is at 11/2 odds* (betting odds taken at 9:37 p.m. on May 15th, 2018). This is just United’s third FA Cup final appearance at the new Wembley Stadium, losing as mentioned above to Chelsea in 2007, before beating Crystal Palace in the 2016 final. While Manchester United haven’t played with any swagger or style this season they have still managed to produce. They have scored well enough to suggest that they can open up a fragile Chelsea defence.
However, they are waiting on the fitness of top scorer Romelu Lukaku for the FA Cup final, as the Belgian missed United’s end of season Premier league run in through injury. During the Premier League season, Manchester United and Chelsea traded home wins and Manchester United trail 2-3 in the recent head to head against the Blues. The feel of this FA Cup final is that it is going to be a low scoring affair and in tight scraps, Manchester United generally find a way to pull themselves through. It is the Red Devils who look the most value go and get their hands on the famous silverware on the weekend.
These two clubs have a rich history in the FA Cup between them. Arsenal are gunning for their 13th FA Cup title, while Chelsea are looking to win it for the 8th time. Chelsea have won their last four FA Cup final appearances, while Arsenal have won each of their last five. Arsenal have only lost one of their last 22 games in the competition, but then Chelsea have only lost one of their twelve competitive games against their London rivals. Will Chelsea’s powerful attack which has netted 24 goals in their last seven games, be able to open up Arsenal who are missing key defender Laurent Koscielny?
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Will Chelsea complete the domestic double this season? Only once before have they ever managed to pull off a league and FA Cup double and if they do it this season, they will be only the third side ever to have done the double on more than one occasion (Manchester United and Arsenal). The Blues finished the Premier League season strongly, winning their last seven matches and scoring a total of 24 goals in the process. With them having won their last four FA Cup Final appearances as well, they are heavy favourites to be celebrating another piece of history at the end of the game.
Chelsea have suffered just the one defeat in their last twelve competitive games against Arsenal now and while that was earlier this season, they have the strong head to head form going against them. Arsenal missed out on the top four in the Premier League this term and this could be Arsene Wenger’s final game in charge of them as well. The Gunners will go into the game without their main central defender as well, with Laurent Koscielny having picked up a red card in his final Premier League match of the season. So that will hurt them and the Gunners have a tough game ahead of them.
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The two London rivals meet up on Saturday at Wembley with an eye on walking away with the famous old trophy. Only once before in Chelsea’s history have they managed the league and cup double, but after storming their way to the Premier League title this season, they are favourites to go and land the Wembley win. Arsenal though have a decent track record in recent seasons in the FA Cup and they have won their last six games in a row played at Wembley. Will the Gunners turn up and spoil Chelsea’s double dreams?
Chelsea 5/6, Draw 3/1, Arsenal 7/2
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Will Chelsea be able to cap off their brilliant season with another piece of silverware? They are favourites to go out and do so after sweeping up the Premier League title in emphatic fashion. They set a record for most amount of wins in a league season as well as bagging the second ever highest points tally. Blues had relatively easy draws through the early stages of their FA campaign, going up against Peterborough, Brentford and Wolves, but then things got a lot tougher for them. They squeezed out a 1-0 quarter-final win over Manchester United and then had to face the rampant Tottenham in the semi-finals.
Even though boss Antonio Conte decided to play with his starting line up, leaving Diego Costa and Eden Hazard on the bench, the Blues still ran out 4-2 winners to put themselves back at Wembley for the final. With Chelsea having pretty strong head to head form going against their London rivals Arsenal, they are favourites for this and because of the amount of goals that they have been scoring lately, over 2.5 goals at Paddy Power in FA Cup Final betting is a price of 4/5. This could be a pretty open and entertaining FA Cup final.
The Blues have won their last seven games on the bounce across all competitions and six of those seven games of theirs has seen at least three goals scored in. Chelsea have actually scored 24 goals in their last seven games, at well over an average of three per game and that should trouble a depleted Arsenal back line. Diego Costa is 5/6 outright favourite in the Paddy Power anytime goalscorer market, with Eden Hazard at 6/5 and Pedro at 2/1. Michy Batshuayi, who scored Chelsea’s Premier League title-winning goal is a 13/10 option with Paddy Power, who netted a brace against Spurs in the semi final, at 11/5.
Even though these two clubs have a rich history of FA Cup success between them, this is only the second time that they will have met in the final of competition. The previous one was back in the 2001/02 season and that was settled in favour of Arsenal, helped along by one of the most famous FA Cup goals ever, a long-range strike from Ray Parlour. So Chelsea are running in top form and have a full squad to chose from, but Arsenal’s back line has taken a hit, namely through the suspension of Laurent Koscielny.
The centre-half was sent off against Everton on the final day of the season and with Gabriel definitely out injured, and Shkodran Mustafi a big doubt for them, they won’t be heading to Wembley at full strength. Arsenal put a 3-0 win over Chelsea on the board at the Emirates in a Premier League meeting earlier in the season, but that was the game which woke Chelsea up afterwards. Following that, Conte changed formation and Chelsea never looked back. The league win that Arsenal recorded this season over Chelsea is their only victory in their last twelve competitive meetings with the Blues. The Gunners have actually failed to score in seven of their last ten games against Chelsea in all competitions. Chelsea to win to nil at Paddy Power is a quote of 2/1.
The last time that these two met in the FA Cup was back in the 2009 semi-finals, which the Blues won 2-1. The head to head from FA Cup meetings is actually being led by Arsenal 8-5 with six draws. But with Chelsea in such strong form and having more strength in depth to call on when the game wears on, Antonio Conte has a great chance of landing Chelsea just their second domestic double. They have proven themselves against tough opponents in the FA Cup this season, whereas two of Arsenal’s ties were against non-league opposition. Even with Arsenal having won two of the last three editions of the FA Cup, they may miss out on this one.
-If Arsenal wins this, they would land their 13th trophy, moving them one ahead of Manchester United on 12.
-If it is the Blues who are triumphant, then it would move them to eight FA Cup trophies alongside Tottenham (third overall).
-Whoever wins on Saturday, it will mean that seven of the last 11 FA Cups will have been won by either Arsenal or Chelsea.
-Arsene Wenger would be setting a record for most FA Cup wins as a manager (7, currently on 6 with George Ramsay) if Arsenal win on Saturday.
-Chelsea haven’t lost any of their last four FA Cup Finals, all of which have been contested at Wembley (2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012). Arsenal were the last team to beat them in an FA Cup Final.
-The eventual Premier League champions have also gone on to win the FA Cup on 11 of the 18 occasions they’ve played in the final, most recently Chelsea in 2010.
-Arsenal are on a six-match winning streak at Wembley, their best run on the ground (new or old).