Thursday 19 May 2016

FA Cup final preview: United v Crystal Palace

United head to Wembley bidding for a record-equalling 12th FA Cup success in Saturday's showpiece against Alan Pardew's Palace at Wembley.

These two sides famously met in the 1990 final- Sir Alex's first major trophy as United boss- and Louis van Gaal is looking to follow suit in what could be his last match in charge of the club. 

Arsenal's back-to-back victories in this competition have seen them overhaul United to become the club with most Cups to their name and the Reds- runners up in 2005 and 2007- start as favourites against out of form Palace. 

"The FA Cup is a big title in this country and we are playing in the most magnificent cathedral in England so you know how important this cup is- it is always exciting when you are so close but you have to win it.
"It is not so easy against Crystal Palace, they have a lot of pace and quality and shall defend in a tight space and also play on the counter attack.
"We want to bring home this FA Cup for ourselves and also for the fans of Manchester United who are always unconditional and fantastic." said the Dutchman ahead of the final.

Full-backs Matteo Darmian and Marcos Rojo are both fit to play after injury, Marouane Fellaini is available again after suspension and Morgan Schneiderlin is expected to recover from the illness that kept him out of the Bournemouth match.

Luke Shaw and Bastian Schweinsteiger are back in training but the final will come too soon but Van Gaal faces a selection headache with an otherwise fully fit squad to pick from.

Joe Ledley is Palace's only notable absentee with key trio Yohan Cabaye, Connor Wickham and former United man Wilf Zaha all expected to feature despite recent doubts.

The Eagles have knocked out fellow Premier League sides Southampton, Stoke, Tottenham, Watford and division lower Reading to reach the final and set up a first showpiece since that replayed 1990 meeting with United. 

That remains their only major final as victory on Saturday would see a first domestic cup success in their 110-year history and manager Alan Pardew become only the third English boss in the Premier League era to achieve the feat. 

Saturday's match is a 17.30 kick off and is live on BT Sport and BBC One.

Form guide: United W W D W L W Palace D L W L W L
Match odds: United 3/4 Draw 12/5 Palace 17/4
Referee: Mark Clattenburg 

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