Manchester United will be hoping to end their season on a high with a win in the 135th FA Cup Final against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Following a disappointing Premier League season for the Red Devils a win record equalling twelfth title in the competition may not be enough to save the job of Louis van Gaal.
Whatever the result United fans will still be calling for the head of Van Gaal who was booed as he addressed the Old Trafford faithful following the conclusion of the game against Bournemouth midweek.
Crystal Palace’s run in the competition this season has very much been the highlight of their season following a Premier League season which faded after a bright start.
United qualified for the final at the expense of Everton thanks to an injury time winner from Frenchmen Anthony Martial following Marouane Fellaini’s opener before Chris Smalling put the ball into the back of his own net.
The Eagles meanwhile earnt their place in the final with a 2-1 victory over Watford the following day with goals from Yannick Bolasie and Connor Wickham whilst Troy Deeney got on the scoresheet for the Hornets.
Both teams go into the game on the end of differing results with United having won their last Premier League game of the season 3-1 against Bournemouth whilst Palace went down 4-1 to sixth placed Southampton.
Speaking to the media ahead of the match van Gaal said “The FA Cup is a big title in this country and we are playing in the most prestigious temple of England. Everything confirms how important this cup is.”
In team news for United Fellaini is once again available for selection after serving his three-match ban for head-butting Leicester City defender Robert Huth in a league match earlier this month.
There remains doubts over the fitness of defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah and midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, although the former Southampton midfielder trained strongly on Thursday. Luke Shaw and Bastian Schweinsteiger remain on the sidelines.
For the Eagles a number of question marks remain over three of their key players in midfielder Yohan Cabaye, semi-final hero Wickham and former Red Devil Wilfred Zaha.
The two sides met in the final of this competition back in 1990 with Eagles manager Alan Pardew having featured in that match, with United having won a replay 1-0 following one of the most memorable finals in which the game ended 3-3.
Pardew told the media “There’s no revenge. This is about this team getting to a cup final and winning it. We’re not going to drown ourselves in 1990.”
United have held the recent dominance over the London side winning 15 of the past 20 matches including a 2-0 victory in the Premier League at Old Trafford just last month.
The match will see United feature in an FA Cup final for the 19th time having won 11 and lost eight, with a victory equalling the record of 12 held by Arsenal who set the record with their victory in the competition last season.
Palace will enter the match having won their last three matches at England’s home of football and having been victorious in six of their past seven FA Cup ties against fellow Premier League opposition.
If teenage sensation Marcus Rashford is to score in the match he would become the second youngest United player to do so behind Norman Whiteside who scored in the 1983 final replay against Brighton aged 18 years and 19 days.
In a game which could potentially save the season’s of both sides it ensures to be yet another exciting FA Cup final with United favourites heading into the match.