Chelsea comes into the match under something of a cloud, with a limp 3-0 defeat at the hands of Newcastle United on the final day of the Premier League season ensuring they will not participate in the UEFA Champions League next year.
The Blues are also set to bid goodbye to manager Antonio Conte, with the Italian likely to part ways with the London club even if he guides them to victory in this FA Cup final. Their fifth-place finish in the league is too big a step back for a club of Chelsea’s stature and they will in all likelihood look for fresh leadership once the campaign is over.
United have not enjoyed a vintage season either. Manager Jose Mourinho may have secured a second-place finish in the Premier League – their best in the post-Alex Ferguson era – but they were still miles off the pace of champions and hated rivals Manchester City.
A gutless exit from the Champions League at the hands of Sevilla also rankled the Red Devils, especially as another domestic rival, Liverpool, will battle for the European crown against Real Madrid next weekend.
All this means ‘The Special One’ is in need of his second FA Cup – having taken Chelsea to the coveted prize 11 years ago (at the expense of the team he is currently managing) – in order to keep United fans on his side.
In head-to-head stats, Chelsea and United have met in 161 matches across all competitions. The Red Devils have claimed 63 wins compared to 48 for the Blues.
The teams’ most recent meeting was a Premier League clash at Old Trafford in February which was won 2-1 by United, thanks to goals from Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard, while the clubs last clashed in the FA Cup in March last year, with Chelsea winning a home quarterfinal 1-0.
Recent form, latest results first
Head-to-head, all competitions
Matches played 161
Chelsea wins 48
United wins 63
Chelsea goals 215
United goals 265