The 2015-16 FA Cup final arrives on Saturday, as Manchester United and Crystal Palace make the trip to glorious Wembley Stadium. Follow along with our live blog, and check out our preview below.
Here’s what to know from the match and how to watch.
When: Saturday, May 21
Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
Location: Wembley Stadium, London, England
TV: Fox, Fox Deportes
Stream: Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Sports Go
What’s on the line? For Manchester United, a major trophy. For Crystal Palace, much more. The winner earns a spot in the Europa League group stage for 2016-17. United has already qualified for the competition through finished fifth in the Premier League, while Palace has not. And if United wins, it would clinch a spot in the third qualifying round for West Ham, who finished seventh in the Premier League. So basically either Crystal Palace qualifies for Europa or West Ham, as United’s taking the tournament would see one of the Premier League’s Europa League places fall down to the Hammers.
Manchester United’s best player is: Wayne Rooney. Thought it hasn’t been the best year for him (or United, really), he is still the top dog. A good goal scorer who can also set up his teammates, he will be counted on alongside Anthony Martial to lead the attack for the Red Devils.
Crystal Palace’s best player is: It’s like picking a team to support in the Nicaraguan soccer league. They are all just below average. Maybe Yannick Bolasie? The Congolese winger has been quality in a down season for Palace which saw the club finish five points above relegation. Nice pace and a good first touch should see the player get a few chances down the wing to do damage. The most talented is midfielder Yohan Cabaye, but he has been inconsistent since his move from PSG and has dealt with an injury as of late.
LVG’s job on the line? Many wonder if Louis van Gaal is out as manager if United lose this match, as the team failed to qualify for the Champions League next year, crashed out of the group stage this year and finished fifth in the Premier League. With all the Jose Mourinho rumors swirling around, one has to wonder just how much longer he has? He could very well be out with a loss, while a win may be enough to save his gig.
X-factor for Manchester: Anthony Martial. If the team can get Martial going, it could be an easy day. One of the most talented youngsters in the world, the French forward has the creativity and skill down the side to set up his teammates or score on his own. Just take a look at this work to set up Rooney in the 1-0 win against Bournemouth on Tuesday. Against a weak backline of Palace, Martial is going to get his chances, and if he finishes them, Palace doesn’t stand a chance.
X-factor for Crystal Palace: Manchester United playing like Manchester United. If the Red Devils play uninspiring as they seem to do more often than not, Palace can win this one. Though defensively United has been very good in the competition, allowing just four goals in six games, the team isn’t very talented at the back and just seems to lack heart and motivation, on top of execution.
Manchester United team news: Defenders Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian are doubtful due to injury, while midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin is ready to return after an illness. Defender Luke Shaw and midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger are out until at least the end of the club season.
Crystal Palace team news: Cabaye and forward Connor Wickham are back fit and ready to play after injuries.
Prediction: Manchester United 3, Crystal Palace 1
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