Why Manchester will win by Michael Madyira
Finishing as English Premiership runners-up to champions Manchester City is testimony to how Manchester United have improved under manager Jose Mourinho. It is no coincidence that they ended their league campaign by proving their big-match temperament throughout the season. United beat all the league’s big six teams. Mourinho’s incredible record of 12 wins in 15 Cup finals places his team in a strong position to overpower Chelsea, who this season blew hot and cold and ended in fifth position. United go into Saturday’s final with the bragging rights of being the latest winner between the two sides, after a 2-1 league win in February. Chelsea did beat Man Utd 1-0 in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge in November 2017.
Manchester United’s match winner
The good news in the United camp is that their top-scorer Romelu Lukaku is back to full fitness and will most likely to start on Saturday. The Belgian has scored 27 goals in all competitions to cap an impressive debut season at Old Trafford. Having scored against Chelsea in the 2-1 league win in February, Lukaku is widely viewed as the man to carry the day for United. I can also see Paul Pogba scoring if Mourinho starts him. The Frenchman’s brace in the 3-2 league triumph over Manchester City and in the 2-1 victory against Arsenal shows how he loves the big stage.
My score prediction: Chelsea 1-3 Manchester United
Manchester United will certainly concede a goal as they have done in the two matches against Chelsea and against all the top six sides this season. They will outscore Chelsea. Mourinho rarely gets his tactics wrong in such a match, given his remarkable Cup finals record. After failing to secure a Uefa Champions League spot as well as losing their last league match 3-0 against Newcastle last weekend, morale is at its lowest in the Chelsea dressing room. That is a huge advantage for United given how mental strength will play a big role in a final.
Why Chelsea will win by Ignat Manjoo
With the way The Blues psychologically fell apart in the Premier League, this is not the ideal team to back. Chelsea were dismantled by Newcastle in their last league game, but I don't expect them to play as badly as they did at St James' Park. The key here is mental readiness. When Chelsea knew they couldn't afford to lose a game in the Premier League again, they went on a winning run for the first time in the season. They were unlucky against Huddersfield where Antonio Conte should've started Eden Hazard. Failure to get three points there unsettled them for the Newcastle game. Now, they need to get their troops together and demonstrate some of that fighting spirit that was there in previous weeks, such as when they came from two goals down to beat Southampton. Will they show up against Manchester United? You can bet they will for two obvious reasons. The chance to win something important despite such a disappointing season, the FA Cup. Finally, the last person they'd want to give this final away is to their former 'Special One', Jose Mourinho. I expect them to be fired up and you will see the better side of Chelsea in the final.
Chelsea’s match winner
The Blues have many players who can win the game for them. However I can see somebody coming on from the bench to win the game. That's where Chelsea's got quality in Cesc Fabregas and Willian. I also believe Alvaro Morata can one day become a really good Premier League striker... if his coaches are patient with him. When you playing against Mourinho's bus, you need someone who can shoot from range or through that crowd. This is why I see Willian as the player who can make that happen.
My score prediction: Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United
The Red Devils have enough quality to score three goals against Chelsea. Though, unless Chelsea score early, Jose Mourinho is going to draw into his shell and keep this a tight stalemate for as long as possible. Mourinho is going to wait for something to happen, a little mistake from The Blues. That mistake is hardly going to arrive in the right spot for them, because Conte is going to drill his team to be focused. This is going to be a chess game and in the end it's going to be decided by a single moment.