Manchester United won the FA Cup for the first time since 2004 thanks to Jesse Lingard’s extra-time winner against Crystal Palace at Wembley.
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Ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final clash between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Wembley, respective members of the UAE supporters’ clubs share their predicted line-ups, results and share with us where to watch the match.
If you are interested in joining the clubs or popping along to watch the big game with like minded fans, you can contact them via the social media accounts linked below.
Omar Othman, MANCHESTER UNITED SUPPORTERS CLUB UAE
After what can only be summed up as a disappointing season, Manchester United go into Saturday’s final knowing that winning the FA Cup will provide some respite for frustrated fans.
United have not won this trophy since 2004 when they beat Millwall in the final and since then United’s record haul of 11 FA Cups has been overtaken by Arsenal, who now boast 12 triumphs after back-to-back wins over the past two years.
With guaranteed qualification to the Europa League group stage sewn up after a fifth-place Premier League finish, the real motivation here is to claim silverware – something that will be new to a number of members of the squad. Standing in their way is a repeat of the 1990 FA Cup final, which United won 1-0 in a replay after a thrilling 3-3 draw in the first game.
On the injury front, Luke Shaw and Bastian Schweinsteiger are still nursing respective long-term injuries although there was some great news with the the left back returning to training this week. Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Morgan Schneiderlin are doubts, but Marouane Fellaini after completing his three-match suspension.
PREDICTION: Manchester United 2-1 Crystal Palace
LIKELY MA UTD XI: Dea Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Blind, Rojo; Fellaini, Mata; Lingard, Rooney, Martial; Rashford
MAN UTD PLAYER TO WATCH: Anthony Martial. The match-winner in the semi-final against Everton, Martial has shown he has no fear on the big stage at Wembley – the Frenchman and emergence of Rashford have been the main positives to take out of this season.
CRYSTAL PALACE PLAYER TO FEAR: Wilfried Zaha. Things didn’t work out at Old Trafford but Zaha looks at home at Palace. Pace, direct running – he’s been a real threat all season and he’ll be out to prove a point against his former employers.
FAVOURITE UNITED-PALACE MOMENT: The 1990 FA Cup final – the first trophy of the incredible Sir Alex Ferguson era at United.
WHERE TO WATCH: MUSC UAE members have three locations to choose from. Matches are shown at Harvesters Pub, Crowne Plaza and Yamo Café & Restaurant, Sidra Tower (near Media City). As for Abu Dhabi, the matches are shown at Coopers Bar in the Park Rotana.
Keith Maisey, DUBAI EAGLES
This season’s FA Cup has been Palace’s best since we lost to United in the 1990 final. In the five games leading up to Saturday’s showpiece, Palace have beaten four Premier League teams and conceded just two goals.
Alan Pardew may have his critics, both inside and outside of the club, but staying in the league for another year and the exciting FA Cup makes it a good season. Plenty has been learned and now what we do this summer will be the big test. It showed earlier this season that the depth in the squad isn’t there currently – losing a couple of our most valuable players for long periods of time without quality stepping in put pressure on the whole squad.
The pressure is on United as they are the overwhelming favourites and with Leicester showing that 2016 is the year of the underdog hopefully Palace can go into this game with freedom. Defending solidly and letting our flair players run riot is the key – Yannick Bolassie and Wilfeid Zaha on song should be enough to put fear in any opponent. I speak for the entire Palace family not just in the UAE but worldwide when I say bring on Saturday!
PREDICTION: Manchester United 1-2 Crystal Palace
LIKELY PALACE XI: Hennessey, Ward, Delaney, Dann, Souare, Jedi, Cabaye, Wilf, Punch, Bolasie, Wickham
PALACE PLAYER TO WATCH: Wilfried Zaha. At the club he loves and against the team that didn’t give him a chance. Palace’s player of the season has nothing to prove but will definitely be up for the game.
MAN UTD PLAYER TO FEAR: Marcus Rashford. The young Englishman has enjoyed a great season. He works hard and certainly seems to know where the goal is.
FAVOURITE PALACE-UNITED MOMENT: It has to be the 2012 League Cup quarter-finals. Darren Ambrose thundered a 35-yard drive into the top corner!
WHERE TO WATCH: Loca Restaurant and Bar – Souk Al Bahar. Great friendly service with great food and hops too.
Manchester United will be out to secure the club’s 12th win in the FA Cup against Crystal Palace on Saturday, which would equal Arsenal’s record set last season.
It woul also be Louis van Gaal’s first trophy as United manager and the Dutchman has hinted that Marouane Fellaini will start the game.
Here, the burly Moroccan previews the game, talking about the emotions of playing at a packed out Wembley, is previous experience of the fixture with Everton (against Chelsea) and why being ‘favourites’ does not count for much.
Who do you think will win the FA Cup? Tweet us your thoughts using #360fans.