FA Cup: Crystal Palace Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Manchester United
This Premier League season is now definitely over but English football fans still have a great game to be excited about. On Saturday, the FA Cup final will be played, featuring a clash between Crystal Palace and Manchester United. While it will be Crystal PalaceÃ‚Â´s second ever FA Cup final berth, Manchester have already made as many as 17 appearances in this prestigious duel, having won the trophy 11 times. Consequently, they are the favourites of the game this time as well. Kicking off at 6:30 PM (CET), the FA Cup final between Crystal Palace and Manchester United will be played at the iconic Wembley Stadium in London.
Crystal Palace had a great start to the season and after first few rounds, they were even occupying the second spot in the league table but then, the teamÃ‚Â´s performance began to decline. Eventually, it resulted in a long series of failures that lasted almost until the very end of the season. Out of the last 21 league matches, the Eagles won just two, surviving relegation by just four points. Therefore, the Saturday FA Cup final will be a great opportunity for Pardew and his team to (at least partly) atone for the unsuccessful season. For Pardew, the game will be even more special as back in 1990 when these two teams met in the FA Cup final for the last time, he was a key part of CrystalÃ‚Â´s midfield. Back then, the match resulted in a 3:3 draw, which meant a replay was required to determine the winner. As the rematch and the trophy was won by Manchester United, the Londoners have a lot to avenge this time.
Manchester had many ambitious goals prior to the season and after another summer of huge spending, they were considered one of the biggest candidates to win the Premier League this year. The first months of the season suggested Manchester might not be as impressive with their campaigns as many people thought they would but few could have foreseen how disappointing the season will really be. Huge 15 points shy of the winners Leicester, United even failed to claim any of the Champions League spots, finishing in the 5th place. Manchester international campaigns resulted in fiascos too. After being knocked out of the Champions League as early as in the group stage, van GaalÃ‚Â´s men were eliminated in the Europa League round of 16 by Liverpool. With all of the teamÃ‚Â´s essential goals slipped away, Manchester have a last chance to produce at least one achievement this season. On Saturday, van Gaal must hope that not only does his team clinch the trophy but that is also proves to be enough for him to stay in charge of the side.
On Saturday, the Wembley Stadium will witness a major football event as it will host the 135th final of the FA Cup, the oldest cup competition in football world. Along with the prestigious trophy for the winner, a spot in the Europa League as well as entry into the next seasonÃ‚Â´s domestic opener the FA Community Shield are at stake, which makes this game very attractive to both sides. Moreover, it will be a great opportunity for both teams to improve their reputation after their unsuccessful seasons. Will Manchester meet the role of the favourite of this duel and clinch their 12th FA Cup? Or will Crystal Palace become the winners of the cup for the very first time? We will know by Saturday night.
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