Chelsea face Leicester City at Wembley on Saturday hoping to make the FA Cup the first of two major trophies they win this season.
Thomas Tuchel’s side have also reached this season’s Champions League final, in which they face Manchester City in Porto on 29 May, but on Saturday their focus will be on winning English football’s oldest prize for the ninth time.
The Foxes have never won the trophy, having lost on all four appearances in the final the last of which came more than half a century ago in 1969.
Leicester’s FA Cup pedigree is nothing like the same, and this will be their first final since losing to Manchester City in 1969.
However, this season the finalists are closely matched, with Leicester third and Chelsea fourth in the Premier League, and the Foxes having won the most recent league meeting 2-0 in January.
Form Guide: Chelsea
Chelsea suffered a shock loss to Arsenal on Wednesday and will be keen on rising from it when they take on Leicester City in the FA Cup final on Saturday. The two sides fighting to keep their top four places will put to the side thoughts about the league to face off at Wembley. Chelsea will be returning to Wimbles for the final, hoping to do better than in their loss to Arsenal last season. They had seven changes in the 1-0 loss to Arsenal and lacked their usual cutting edge; they’ll definitely be a different side in the Saturday game. Chelsea go to the FA Cup final with one loss and five clean sheets in their last eight matches across all competitions. With the return of first choice players for the game, expect Chelsea to be a better defensive side and also incisive in attack. The only goal they’ve conceded in the FA Cup this season was against Luton Town. They have scored 11 goals in the five matches played.
Form Guide: Leicester City
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers is eyeing up his own slice of history as he looks to become the first manager since Sir Alex Ferguson to win both Scotland and England’s flagship cup competitions. However, history isn’t on his side given Leicester have made the most FA Cup final appearances without winning (four). It’s been a straightforward run this season though, scoring first in four of their five FA Cup victories. In the Premier League, the Midlands club looked like they were once again going to throw away their Champions League spot. Last Friday, they suffered a shock defeat to Newcastle United losing 4-2 at home. However, they swiftly bounced back with a win at Old Trafford. Rodgers’ side lined up against a much weakened United side and they managed to walk out 2-1 winners. The win lifts them above Saturday’s opponents Chelsea and back in third.
How the match could go
Chelsea and Leicester City had mixed results in midweek. While Chelsea still have the Champions League final to plan for, this is the only trophy Leicester can play for. Chelsea will have an edge here, in having rested their key players in the Arsenal game and they’ve also had a great run lately. Leicester have been scoring well but still look shaky and against Chelsea, this can be punished. Based on recent form, Chelsea will be a good pick for a win here.
Tip: Chelsea to win
Chelsea and Leicester City had mixed results in midweek. While Chelsea still have the Champions League final to plan for, this is the only trophy Leicester can play for. Chelsea will have an edge here, in having rested their key players in the Arsenal game and they’ve also had a great run lately. Leicester have been scoring well but still look shaky and against Chelsea, this can be punished. In their recent form, Chelsea will be a good pick for a win here. Bet365 have 1.90 odds, 1xbet have 1.97 and Bet9ja have 2.00.
Over 2.5 goals
Although cup finals are traditionally expected to be more cagey affairs, as both semi-finals involving these teams were, we anticipate a more open game here. Leicester scored twice in their win over Chelsea earlier in the season and indeed six of the last seven FA Cup Finals have seen three or more goals scored. With both sides looking like they could be equally matched, we could be in for a decent amount of goals, especially if the game sees an early goal for one reason or the other. Bet365 have 2.15 odds, Bet9ja have 2.18 and 1xbet have 2.24.
Both teams to score: Yes
Chelsea remain the favorites here but this is easily a game that could go either way. Leicester can easily cause problems for the Blues and even boast enough quality to beat Tuchel and company. However it may go, the Foxes are expected to give the Blues a run for their money and we could well see goals at both ends. Leicester alone have scored at least two goals across their last five games, though they have no clean sheet in their last four matches, which gives a good incentive for this tip. To go with, four of the last five matches have produced over 2.5 goals as well. It could easily be a case of who outscores the other but there’s a good chance we see at least a goal from both ends. Bet365 have 1.95 odds, Bet9ja have 1.99 and 1xbet have 2.03.
Anytime Goal-scorer (Chelsea)
The Chelsea academy graduate has been one of their most influential players this season. He has netted several key goals for the Blues, most recently in the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid. Mount is expected to line up for Chelsea in the cup final and he will be keen to one again play a key role for his side. Value comes with the Englishman as Bet365 have 3.40 odds for him to score while Bet9ja have 4.25.
Timo Werner may not have racked up as many goals as people expected when he joined Chelsea, but his impressive movement has helped them in big games of late and should do so again on Saturday. The German played a key part in the semi-final success against Manchester City, as well as scoring in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid. In addition, Chelsea’s top-four showdown with West Ham United was decided by a solitary Werner goal and he continues to improve under Tuchel’s guidance. Bet365 have 2.75 odds while Bet9ja have 2.85.
Anytime Goal-scorer (Leicester City)
Leicester will be pinning their hopes squarely on their in-form striker Kelechi Iheanacho here. The Nigerian has been excellent in front of goal lately, racking up no fewer than 13 goals in his last 12 appearances in all competitions. In 2021, he is up there as the most in-form striker in the Premier League so far. Bet365 have 2.40 odds while Bet9ja have 2.50.
Vardy might not have scored as much as he would have loved of late but he remains a legend for Leicester City. Having fired them to the Premier League in 2016, he’ll be aiming to further cement his legendary status with an FA Cup final goal perhaps and maybe one that gives them to win. He has not been at his usual prolific best but has still managed 15 goals across all competitions this term. He remains a top option to score. Bet365 have 3.40 odds for him to score while Bet9ja have 3.50.
Football Lover. All-round junkie of the beautiful game. Could be found watching football most of the time. If not he’s writing about them or making some punditry you don’t agree with. A certain bias for Arsenal and Santos FC.