HISTORY:

FA Cup happens to be the oldest competition in the history of football. This one is the record 137th time this season. This cup gives chances to all the clubs in England. From top flight clubs to every club down to the 10th level in the national pyramid system. Everyone gets a chance to add silverware into their trophy rooms. The preliminary rounds for qualification to the cup  started in August, followed by the Premier League clubs joining in the third round in early January. There are a total of seven rounds in the competition before the final is played. This year’s FA Cup final is between two big guns.

 

DATE AND VENUE:

Just like every other season, this season’s final will be played in Wembley on May 19th.

 

WHO’S PLAYING THE FINAL?

The FA Cup 2018 final will see Manchester United take on Chelsea. It is the third time that the two sides are paired together in the final of this competition. The results have been even so far. In 1994, Manchester United outwitted Chelsea to win the cup. However, it was Chelsea that came out on top in 2007.

 

EUROPA LEAGUE SPOT

The winner of this competition usually gets a place in the group stages of Europa League. Since both the teams have secured continental football, with Manchester United finishing second and Chelsea getting the fifth spot, the Europa league spot will now go to someone else .

That someone else is probably a team that finishes the highest and has not already qualified for Europe. In this case it is sixth placed Arsenal. Arsenal is likely to get the Europa spot instead of the winner of FA Cup who has already qualified.

CLASH WITH ROYAL WEDDING?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are getting  married on the same day but there is no clash between them. The ceremony is at noon followed by the cup final in late afternoon.  So football loving royalists can attend both events and eat their cake in peace.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge usually attends the final, to present the cup to the winner in his role as Football Association president. It is to be seen if he will fulfill both obligations or skip the cup event.

VAR IN USE?

Yes. For the first time, Video Assistant Refree System (VAR) will be used in this oldest cup competition.

 

WHAT HAPPENS IF IT’S A DRAW?

Having multiple replays  in the final is now outdated. If the scores are level after 90 minutes, we will see 30 minutes of extra time. We will go into the penalties if the scores are still level.

PLAYER  AVAILABILITY:

Manchester United will be without the services of Romelu Lukaku for the final. Jose Mourinho is uncertain if the big Belgian will recover in time to feature for the Red Devils. Lukaku picked up a knock after colliding with Arsenal defender Mavropanos.

Chelsea will have all players available with Alonso coming back into the squad.  David Luiz is back to fitness as well though its highly likely that Conte won’t start him.

 

MANAGER MINDSET:

Jose Mourinho, after taking his team to the second spot and a successful UCL qualification will look to add silverware to end the season on a high note.

Antonio Conte is under pressure, with speculation of him losing the job and Chelsea’s recent poor performances. Conte however brushed those speculations aside and said that his team would give their all in the final.

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