At 5.15pm on Saturday, the FA Cup Final will take place at Wembley Stadium between 8-time winners of the trophy, Chelsea and Leicester City, who have never won the FA Cup despite appearing in four previous finals.
It is also a clash between the teams ranked third and fourth in the Premier League at the moment, both with genuine aspirations to be in next season’s Champions League.
Due to the cash available from the Premier League and the Champions League, the FA Cup has lost a little of its glamour in recent times, but there is no doubt that it is still a very important day in the English football calendar and of course, it offers the two clubs involved a chance to win a coveted domestic trophy.
It is also a very special day for punters with many set to enjoy a wager on the game and if you want to enjoy extensive pre-match betting on the match, as well as a wealth of Live In Play betting options once the game kicks off, then bet365 Sport is a great choice for UK-based punters.
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Let’s now check out more details about the game with our in depth preview for both teams, as well as our tips for how we see the match panning out.
FA Cup Final – Chelsea v Leicester City
The match will kick off at 5.15pm GMT on Saturday 15th May at Wembley Stadium. Both teams will be able to have fans in attendance with plans for a limited capacity crowd of around 20,000 at the game. One of the Premier League’s most recognisable referees, Michael Oliver will be in charge of proceedings, assisted by Chris Kavanagh as the VAR official.
Sian Massey will become the first female official to officiate in an FA Cup Final on Saturday as an assistant referee.
Chelsea have enjoyed massive success in this competition over recent times as all of their eight wins in the FA Cup have come since 1970. Their last triumph was just three years ago, when an Eden Hazard penalty was enough to give the Londoners a 1-0 win over Manchester United.
However, they did also reach the final last season where they went down to defeat against Arsenal and this will offer Thomas Tuchel’s men a chance to banish those memories, as well as picking up Tuchel’s first piece of silverware as Chelsea manager.
This will be Chelsea’s sixteenth FA Cup Final appearance in the clubs history.
Here’s how they made it through to Wembley this season.
Chelsea’s Road to Wembley
- 3rd Round – V Morecambe (H) – W 4-0 (Mount 18, Werner 44, Hudson-Odoi 49, Havertz 85)
- 4th Round – V Luton Town (H) – W 3-1 (Abraham 11, 17, 74)
- 5th Round – V Barnsley (A) – W 1-0 (Abraham 64)
- Quarterfinals – V Sheffield United (H) – W 2-0 (Norwood OG 24, Ziyech 90)
- Semifinals – V Manchester City (N) – W 1-0 (Ziyech 55)
FA Cup Stats – Chelsea
- Matches Played – 5
- Goals Scored – 11
- Goals Conceded – 1
- Top Scorer – Tammy Abraham – 4 goals
Chelsea First Team Squad
- Eduoard Mendy (France)
- Kepa Arrizabalaga (Spain)
- Willy Caballero (Argentina)
- Thiago Silva (Brazil)
- Antonio Rudiger (Germany)
- Ben Chillwell (England)
- Cesar Azpilicueta (Spain)
- Reece James (England)
- Andreas Christensen (Denmark)
- Kurt Zouma (France)
- Emerson Palmieri (Italy)
- Marcos Alonso (Spain)
- Kai Haverz (Germany)
- Mason Mount (England)
- Hakim Ziyech (Egypt)
- N’Golo Kante (France)
- Jorginho (Italy)
- Mateo Kovacic (Croatia)
- Billy Gilmour (Scotland)
- Timo Werner (Germany)
- Christian Pulisic (United States)
- Olivier Giroud (France)
- Tammy Abraham (England)
- Callum Hudson-Odoi (England)
Thomas Tuchel and before him, Frank Lampard, have both rotated players for earlier round games in the FA Cup, but I think with this being a final, Tuchel will revert back to his full-strength team, perhaps with the exception of playing Kepa in goal in place of Mendy.
Chelsea Probable Team (5-4-1) – Kepa, James, Chilwell, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Silva, Kante, Jorginho, Mount, Havertz, Werner
Leicester City Preview
Leicester City’s FA Cup history is one that is littered with disappointment. Since 1973, the Foxes have only played in one semifinal, losing to Manchester City in the 1981/82 season, and their last of four finals appearances came back in the 1968-69 season.
As in the previous three appearances at Wembley, Leicester lost that game, and they are the club that has appeared in most FA Cup Finals without ever winning the trophy. Manager Brendan Rodgers would love nothing more to end that record here and give Foxes fans their next major trophy following the unexpected Premier League triumph a few years back.
Let’s see how the Foxes made it through to the final on Saturday.
Leicester City’s Road To Wembley
- 3rd Round – V Stoke City (A) – W 4-0 (Justin 34, Albrighton 59, Perez 79, Barnes 81)
- 4th Round – V Brentford (A) – W 3-1 (Under 46, Tielemans 51(pen), Maddison 71)
- 5th Round – V Brighton (H) – W 1-0 (Iheanacho 90)
- Quarterfinals – V Manchester Utd (H) – W 3-1 (Iheanacho 24,78, Tielemans 52)
- Semifinals – V Southampton (N) – W 1-0 (Iheanacho 55)
FA Cup Stats – Leicester City
- Matches Played – 5
- Goals Scored – 12
- Goals Conceded – 2
- Top Scorer – Kelechi Ihenacho – 4 goals
Leicester City First Team Squad
- Kasper Schmeichel (Denmark)
- Danny Ward (Wales)
- Eldin Jakupovic (Bosnia Herzegovina)
- Caglar Soyuncu (Turkey)
- Wesley Fofana (France)
- James Justin (England) (injured)
- Luke Thomas (England)
- Timothy Castagne (Belgium)
- Ricardo (Portugal)
- Jonny Evans (Northern Ireland)
- Daniel Amartey (Ghana)
- Wes Morgan (Jamaica)
- Christian Fuchs (Germany)
- James Maddison (England)
- Cengiz Under (Turkey)
- Harvey Barnes (England) (injured)
- Wilfred N’Didi (Nigeria)
- Youri Tielemans (Belgium)
- Sidnei Tavares (Portugal)
- Hamza Chuudhary (England)
- Marc Albrighton (England)
- Nampalys Mendy (Senegal)
- Dennis Praet (Belgium)
- Jamie Vardy (England)
- Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria)
- Ayoze Perez (Spain)
Somewhat oddly, Leicester have matched Chelsea’s results exactly in four of their five FA Cup clashes this season and like Chelsea they have taken the opportunity to rotate players in the earlier rounds. However, the games with Manchester United and Southampton in the later rounds did see a return to more full strength teams.
As such, I think Brendan Rodgers is likely to pick his best available team here. The main injury worry for the Foxes, with Harvey Barnes and Justin James confirmed out, is Jonny Evans. If the Northern Ireland defender isn’t fit, then Daniel Amartey will likely deputise.
Leicester City Probable Team – (5-3-2) – Schmeichel, Ricardo, Castagne, Soyuncu, Evans, Fofana, N’Didi, Tielemans, Maddison, Vardy, Iheanacho
Chelsea V Leicester Factfile
- Matches Played – 118
- Chelsea Wins – 57
- Leicester Wins – 27
- Draws – 34
- Chelsea have never lost an FA Cup game with Leicester. They have met nine times in the competition with Chelsea winning seven games and two finishing in draws (with Chelsea winning the replay).
- Chelsea’s last two wins over Leicester City in all competitions have both come in the FA Cup.
- The last seven games between the teams has seen them land two wins apiece, with three of the matches finishing as a draw (0-0, 1-1 and 2-2).
- Leicester won their previous meeting this season 2-0 at the King Power, N’Didi and Maddison scoring the goals. They meet in their second Premier League game at Stamford Bridge in midweek after the FA Cup Final.
What Are Our Tips For The FA Cup Final?
This isn’t an easy game to call. Recent matches between the two teams have been very well matched and Leicester have managed to beat Manchester United twice in recent times, as well as beating Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool this season.
However, I feel Chelsea have come on a great deal since Thomas Tuchel took over the helm and given their excellent record in games against Leicester at Wembley, I am backing the Londoners to claim the narrow win.
It may go down to extra time, which is why I have gone for the draw at 90 minutes, but I do feel it will be Chelsea holding the cup by Saturday evening.
- Full Time Result – Draw – 5/2
- To Lift The Trophy – Chelsea – 4/9
- Method of Victory – Extra Time – 17/2
- Game Decided in Extra Time – Yes – 11/2
- Correct Score (90 Mins) – Chelsea 1-1 Leicester City (11/2)
- Anytime Goalscorer – Mason Mount (Chelsea) – 12/5