5P0RTZ.com’s Big Match Predictor: Chelsea vs Manchester United

Saturday might be the day of the Royal Wedding but the real showpiece occasion will be the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester United.

The Wembley showdown sees Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho, who have clashed off the pitch this season, reignite their feud in pursuit of a trophy to top off a season that has seen both managers come in for criticism.

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Question 1: What will the result be?

Chelsea had been building some momentum but one point from two games against promoted sides Huddersfield and Newcastle look to have stunted that.

United have been unconvincing and inconsistent themselves recently but it takes a brave man to bet against Jose Mourinho in a final. The Portuguese has won 12 of the 14 he has competed in, only losing the other two in extra time.

Question 2: How many goals will be scored?

It is easy to see this one being a low-scoring encounter. Only 50% of United’s games this season have seen over 2.5 goals, and while that figure rises to just 55% for Chelsea, both figures are among the lowest in the division.

This season’s league meetings between the sides have seen Chelsea win 1-0 and United triumph 2-1, so 2 or under and 3 and under look the best shouts here.

Question 3: Pick a player that will score anytime

Romelu Lukaku (5) is the highest scoring player remaining in the competition, but the injury he suffered in the 2-1 win over Arsenal makes him a doubt for the Wembley showpiece.

Olivier Giroud has never lost a competitive game at the National Stadium, while Alexis Sanchez has eight goals in as many appearances there.

Both men netted in their sides’ respective semi-final wins and it is hard to look past either of them here.

Question 4: How many corners will be taken in the game?

These two sides are at the lower end of the Premier League in terms both corners won and conceded. Chelsea get 6.05 per game and concede just 4.18.

United earn even less (5.79) but concede a smidgen more (4.61) so doing the maths – it looks like 9 or fewer and 10 or more are the two best shouts on this one.

Question 5: Pick an event to occur in the match

There are a few possibilities here; a goal from a substitute, a scored penalty, a red card and a comeback win – among others.

If you’re backing Giroud to begin the match on the bench, then a strike from the subs bench might be worth a go.

Elsewhere, Chelsea have had four red cards this season and United had Ander Herrera sent off in the Cup meeting between the teams last season so a dismissal from Michael Oliver may be worth a nibble.

Question 6: Pick a player to receive a card

Antonio Valencia has the joint-most bookings for United this season (7) and given that he is likely to be tasked with keeping Eden Hazard quiet at Wembley, he looks a good bet to pick up a yellow.

The aforementioned Herrera has a penchant for the tactical foul and is worth a look also, while, from a Chelsea perspective, Alvaro Morata leads the way in terms of yellows – which may surprise some – and could be an outside shout that others may not think of.

Question 7: In which minute will the first goal be scored?

The two sides are remarkably close in terms of when they score their opening goals; Chelsea’s openers come – on average after 36.07 minutes, with United’s after 37.52.

There is a greater discrepancy in terms of when they concede the the first goal; the Blues’ average is after the break on 49 minutes exactly, while United’s is after 41.60.

This is a monster bet but around the 37 minute mark offers the best chance, but an outside nibble might be just either side of the interval.

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