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5 talking points ahead of the FA Cup final

Chelsea and Manchester United clash at Wembley with both sides looking for their only silverware of the season

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 at Chelsea has been under scrutiny following a poor defence of their Premier League title.

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’

Mourinho last won the FA Cup in 2007 when his Chelsea side beat current club Manchester United

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

Olivier Giroud has proved popular since he joined Chelsea from Arsenal in the January transfer window

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

Red Devils striker Romelu Lukaku is struggling with an ankle injury ahead of Saturday's final

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

England midfielder Ray Wilkins played for Chelsea and Manchester United during his career

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.


From Belfast Telegraph