Chelsea Vs Leicester City FA Cup Final (Match Preview And Team News)

The FA Cup which is the oldest football tournament in the world since it's inception in 1872 has been significantly won by 43 different teams; the most successful being Arsenal with 14 triumphs. Manchester United have won it 12 times; Chelsea are seeking a ninth win on Saturday while London neighbours, Tottenham, have also won it eight times.

This year's competition showpiece final will go down on Saturday May 15 at 5:30pm (NGA) at the Wembley stadium, which comes before the end of the 2020-21 Premier League season.

The last time this occurred was in 2012 with Chelsea beating Liverpool 2-0 at Wembley to emerge Champions. 

Chelsea reached their 15th FA Cup Final and 4th FA Cup final in five seasons, after Thomas Tuchel ended Guardiola's dreams for a potential quadruple this season in the semi-final, and became the first ever German Manager to reach the FA Cup final.

The Blues are set to bounce back from last year final defeat to Arsenal whom have handed them three of the four losses they have suffered in these modern competition finals, including twice in the last five years.

They now play Leicester City, who would be making their first appearance in this year FA Cup final since 52 years ago (1969).

Leicester City have already beaten Chelsea 2-0 already this season in the Premier League on January 19 under former boss Frank Lampard.

Both teams will play again on Tuesday, this time for a place in the Premier League top-four. 

Meanwhile, Leicester and Nigerian duo Iheanacho and Ndidi are looking to follow in the footsteps of seven compatriots who have won the FA Cups in history.

A victory today against Chelsea, will the the in-form striker Iheanacho, and midfielder Ndidi would be joining the likes of Daniel Amokachi with Everton in 1995; Celestine Babayaro with Chelsea in 2000; Kanu Nwankwo with Arsenal in 2002 & 2003; and Portsmouth in 2008; John Utaka with Portsmouth in 2008; Mikel Obi with Chelsea in 2007, 2009, & 2012; Alex Iwobi – Arsenal in 2017; and Victor Moses with Chelsea in 2018 to have won the competition.

Unlike last season, 20,000 tested and masked fans will be allowed to attend the showpiece.


Chelsea Team News: 

Chelsea are just about fully healthy, though how fit Mateo Kovačić or Andreas Christensen may actually be is up for debate. Kovačić has been trying to return from a hamstring injury for almost a month now while Christensen was expected to try to return for one of these two games against Leicester City but did not get a mention in the pre-match press conference.

Thomas Tuchel did confirm that he’s going to give Kepa the chance to see out a winning Cup campaign, and we should also be getting N’Golo Kanté back from his “pain management” day. Kanté has had fitness concerns ahead of our last three finals (2019 Europa League, 2020 FA Cup, and now), and that vicious cycle seems to be continuing.

Chelsea have responded to every (rare) defeat and setback under Tuchel with renewed effort, vigor, and quality, so hopefully that pattern holds.

Leicester City Team News: 

Leicester have managed to steady their sinking Premier League top-four ship by beating Manchester United’s B-team on Tuesday, but next Tuesday’s showdown looms large for them as well — with Liverpool coming up like a vomit rocket from fifth. But like Chelsea, Leicester will be fully focused on this “first final” match, especially as it’s a chance for them to make history and win the first ever FA Cup in club history.

Former Chelsea youth and reserves coach Brendan Rodgers will be without James Justin, Harvey Barnes, and Wes Morgan, while Jonny Evans is a game-time decision. But the key player for them could very well be Kelechi Iheanacho, who’s had a rather amazing second half of the season, including goals in each of the last three rounds of their FA Cup campaign and 15 goals in 17 appearances in all competitions since the start of February.

Referee: Michael Oliver (on pitch); Chris Kavanagh & Sian Massey-Ellis (VAR) — Oliver had refereed Chelsea last FA Cup final triumph, the 1-0 over Manchester United in 2017.

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