Man United vs Chelsea: The FA Cup final in numbers

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Chelsea and Manchester United meet in Saturday’s FA Cup final at Wembley.

Here, we preview the match in numbers.

12 – United have won the cup a dozen times. They have the chance to draw level again with Arsenal’s record tally, just a year after the Gunners edged ahead on 13.

7 – Chelsea share fourth place in the list with Liverpool and Aston Villa. An eighth win would take them joint third with Tottenham.

9 – nine of the 11 finals since the showpiece returned to Wembley have been won by either Chelsea (four), Arsenal (three), United or Manchester City. The two exceptions, Portsmouth and Wigan, both played in League One this season.

1 – the managers in this year’s final, Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte, have just one win between them – current United boss Mourinho leading Chelsea to the trophy in 2007.

7 – Wigan’s Will Grigg is the leading scorer in this season’s competition. United striker Romelu Lukaku lies two behind but is an injury doubt for the final.

£1.8million – prize money awaiting the winners, double that of the beaten finalists.

737 – teams who entered this season’s competition, with the first ties played on November 3 last year.

58 – United’s streak of 58 successive televised FA Cup ties, stretching back 12 years, ended when they were overlooked in the third round.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Arrivederci Antonio Conte and other talking points as Man United face Chelsea in FA Cup final

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Chelsea and Manchester United meet in Saturday’s FA Cup final as both teams aim to end their respective seasons on a high.

Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho will be looking to get one over his former club, while counterpart Antonio Conte aims to go one better than last season when his side were beaten by Arsenal in the showpiece event.

Here Press Association Sport looks at the main talking points heading into the Wembley clash.

Arrivederci Antonio?

Conte’s position as Chelsea boss has been a constant source of speculation for months, with the Italian cutting an increasingly unhappy figure at Stamford Bridge.

Having delivered the Premier League title in his first campaign at the helm, the 48-year-old was initially unhappy with the summer recruitment drive in west London.

Add to that poor results on the pitch, which led to finishing fifth in the table, and all pointers suggest the former Juventus midfielder will bow out at the end of the season. Winning the FA Cup would be a good way to go.

Mour silverware the aim for the ‘Special One’

Having delivered League Cup and Europa League success in his maiden season as United boss, Mourinho will now want to add the FA Cup to a second-place Premier League finish.

The Portuguese has 11 honours to his name during his time in England, including two stints as Chelsea manager, and success on Saturday will see him lift a second FA Cup.

It will also help silence some of the criticism of the playing style adopted by Mourinho at Old Trafford as the club target a record-equalling 13th FA Cup success.

Conte to do some forward thinking

The biggest selection dilemma facing Conte heading into the final is his decision as to who will start in attack for the Blues.

Alvaro Morata managed just 11 Premier League goals following his big-money move from Real Madrid and has struggled to make an impact when called upon.

Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud joined from Arsenal in the January window and has become an instant cult hero at Stamford Bridge and would be a popular choice to start at Wembley.

Jose could be out of Luk

While Conte has a decision to make over his preferred striker, counterpart Mourinho is sweating over the fitness of his leading man.

Romelu Lukaku has hit 27 goals in his first season at Old Trafford and scored in every round of the FA Cup until the semi-final win over Tottenham.

The former Chelsea forward is struggling with an ankle injury suffered in the recent win over Arsenal and Mourinho has already hinted the 25-year-old may only be fit enough for the bench.

Emotional afternoon for all involved

There are likely to be tributes aplenty to Ray Wilkins on Saturday following the former Chelsea and United midfielder’s death last month.

Wilkins was a much-loved figure within the game and represented both clubs during a stellar playing career before working on the backroom staff at Chelsea for some time.

United will be keen to lift the trophy as a mark of respect to former boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who is still recuperating after surgery on a brain haemorrhage a fortnight ago – while Chelsea will also want to toast former captain Roy Bentley, who died in April aged 93.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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James Rodriguez's resurgence at Bayern Munich puts him atop our rankings of Europe's best attacking midfielders

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James, the best attacking mid in Europe's top five leagues: agree or disagree?

James Rodriguez must have wondered where his career was going last summer. He wasn’t exactly a poor player at Real Madrid, but he couldn’t force his way into Zinedine Zidane‘s starting XI.

Bayern Munich came to his rescue, and the Colombian has thrived in Germany. So much so, that he’s regained his place among the best attacking midfielders in the game.

He tops our list of the best at his position – who else made the cut?

1. James Rodriguez, Bayern Munich

This season has brought James full circle. He earned a move to Real Madrid after a stunning showing at the 2014 World Cup. Having left Madrid on loan last summer, he heads into this year’s World Cup at the top of his game again.

James has rediscovered himself away from Madrid.

James has rediscovered himself away from Madrid.

2. Lorenzo Insigne, Napoli

There were so many things to love about Napoli this season, even if their title bid ultimately fell short. Insigne’s form was one of them, leading a thrilling attack with flair, skill and no little drive.

Insigne was the driving force behind Napoli's title bid.

Insigne was the driving force behind Napoli’s title bid.

3. Heung-min Son, Tottenham

Harry Kane may get all the goals but Son has been one of Spurs’ most effective performers this season. That Son plays with a visible, infectious joy, much like Mohamed Salah, only adds to his aura.

Son's burgeoning reputation grew even bigger this season.

Son’s burgeoning reputation grew even bigger this season.

4. Nabil Fekir, Lyon

If anyone was worried that Fekir’s severe injury debacle would derail his progress, they needn’t worry anymore. The Frenchman has been absolutely superb this term, leading Lyon’s charge for a Champions League spot.

Fekir returned from injury to produce a superb season for Lyon.

Fekir returned from injury to produce a superb season for Lyon.

5. Christian Eriksen, Tottenham

Eriksen must have felt that Harry Kane and Dele Alli had been hogging the headlines for too long. It’s been a stunning season from the Dane, who also scored a hat-trick in a World Cup qualifying play-off to seal Denmark’s spot.

Eriksen cemented his status as one of the best in Europe at his position.

Eriksen cemented his status as one of the best in Europe at his position.

6. Douglas Costa, Juventus

It’s strange that Bayern Munich let him go to Juventus on loan in the first place. The Brazilian is certainly not complaining – he’s hit top form for the Serie A‘s best side. He’s going to make Bayern rue their decision someday.

Costa has been a perfect fit at Juve after being frozen out at Bayern Munich.

Costa has been a perfect fit at Juve after being frozen out at Bayern Munich.

7. Memphis Depay, Lyon

Cut free from the pressure and expectation at Manchester United, Memphis has thrived. He had a run of six games with either a goal or an assist at one point, making sure Lyon didn’t miss a beat when Fekir was injured.

Lyon have unlocked the potential that Memphis never quite delivered on at United.

Lyon have unlocked the potential that Memphis never quite delivered on at United.

8. Luis Alberto, Lazio

What Insigne did for Napoli this season, Alberto did for Lazio. Ciro Immobile and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic stole the headlines for the Rome team, but the Spaniard’s incisiveness and vision underpinned their play.

Luis Alberto's influence was easily seen in Lazio's best attacking play.

Luis Alberto’s influence was easily seen in Lazio’s best attacking play.

9. Paulo Dybala, Juventus

It says it all that a season where he scores twice as many league goals while recording nearly the same number of assists as the previous year is considered a disappointing campaign. Granted, Dybala hasn’t hit the heights of last season, but he’s still a rising star.

Dybala didn't hit the heights of last season, but he was still superb.

Dybala didn’t hit the heights of last season, but he was still superb.

10. Raheem Sterling, Manchester City

It’s tempting to wonder how good Sterling’s season would have been had he been a better finisher. Would we be talking about him in the same breath as Mohamed Salah? Of all the players to have grown under Guardiola’s tutelage, the Englishman showcases it best.

Sterling scored some crucial goals to give City's title bid momentum.

Sterling scored some crucial goals to give City’s title bid momentum.

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