FA CUP FINAL
This will be the 140th FA Cup final, with Chelsea and Leicester becoming the 117th different pairing in the competition’s showcase. Manchester City’s 6-0 demolition of Watford in 2019 was the last time two sides met in the final for the first time.
Chelsea and Leicester are set to go head-to-head this weekend in the final of the 2021 FA Cup.
Chelsea were beaten finalists in the showpiece match last season and will now be back under Wembley arch for another shot at claiming the famous trophy.
Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes have enjoyed a stellar few seasons and will be eager to crown their good form with silverware.
Chelsea edged past Manchester City to reach the final while Leicester beat Southampton.
The Foxes beat the Blues 2-0 earlier this season in the Premier League, and their return meeting was scheduled for the same day as the cup final in a strange twist of fate.
That match has now been scheduled for just a few days later on Tuesday, May 18, but who will be the FA Cup holders when that league game comes around?
Hat match has now been scheduled for just a few days later on Tuesday, May 18, but who will be the FA Cup holders when that league game comes around?
Well, all eyes are turning to the FA Cup final now, which is just a few days away…
ROUTE TO THE FA CUP FINAL
Third Round: 4-0 win over Morecambe
Fourth Round: 3-1 win over Luton Town
Fifth Round: 1-0 win over Barnsley
Quarter-final: 2-0 win over Sheffield United
Semi-final: 1-0 win over Manchester City
Third Round: 4-0 win over Stoke City
Fourth Round: 3-1 win over Brentford
Fifth Round: 1-0 win over Brighton
Quarter-final: 3-1 win over Manchester United
Semi-final: 1-0 win over Southampton
FA Cup final: Latest news on fans
The final is among the test events being planned to bring fans back to live sports.
There are set to be 21,000 spectators under the Wembley arch for the match, which comes two days before the government is due to ease lockdown further.
Attending fans will have to provide a negative test result in the past 36 hours and then take another test five days after.
FA Cup final: Match stats and facts
This season’s FA Cup final will take place before the end of the Premier League season. The last time this happened came back in 2012-13 when underdogs Wigan beat Manchester City 1-0 to lift the trophy.
Chelsea will appear in their 15th FA Cup final, with only Arsenal (21) and Manchester United (20) reaching the competition’s showcase on more occasions. Indeed, only the Gunners (14) and the Red Devils (12) have won the trophy on more occasions than Chelsea (8).
This will be Leicester City’s fifth appearance in an FA Cup final and their first since 1969. The Foxes have lost all four previous finals, the most appearances a side has made in the competition’s showcase without winning the trophy.
Chelsea has reached the FA Cup final in four of the last five seasons (W1 L2), with the Blues finishing runners up in last season’s competition to Arsenal. The last side to lose the FA Cup final in consecutive seasons was Newcastle in 1998 and 1999.
Chelsea has only played more FA Cup matches without losing against Hull City (11) than against Leicester (9 – W7 D2), progressing from each of their previous seventies against the Foxes in the competition.
Leicester City will be appearing in the final of a major cup competition for the first time since 2000, beating Tranmere 2-1 at Wembley in the League Cup final, courtesy of a brace from captain Matt Elliott.
Chelsea has reached the final of a significant domestic/European cup competition in five consecutive seasons for the first time in the club’s history (2017 FA Cup final, 2018 FA Cup final, 2019 League Cup and Europa League final, 2020 FA Cup final, and 2021 FA Cup and Champions League final).
Leicester City has won just four of their 15 games played at Wembley stadium (D1 L10). However, following their victory against Southampton in the semi-final, the Foxes will be aiming to win back-to-back matches at this venue for just the second time, previously doing so when winning the 1994 and 1996 second-tier playoff finals.
Chelsea has lost four of their last seven trips to Wembley (W2 D1), as many defeats as in their previous 17 visits to this ground (W11 D2).
Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers – who won the Scottish FA Cup with Celtic in 2017 & 2018 – could become the first manager to win both the English and Scottish FA Cup since Sir
Alex Ferguson (four Scottish FA Cup titles with Aberdeen and five English FA Cup titles with Man Utd).
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel will become the first-ever German manager to lead his side out for an English FA Cup final, with the Blues still yet to concede a goal under him in this season’s competition.
Christian Pulisic opened the scoring for Chelsea in last season’s FA Cup final against Arsenal – the last player to score an FA Cup final goal in consecutive seasons was Didier Drogba Chelsea in 2009 (vs. Everton) and 2010 (vs. Portsmouth).
No player has scored more goals in this season’s FA Cup than Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho (4), who has scored a third of the Foxes’ plans on their way to the final (4/12), netting in the fifth round, quarter-final, and the winner against Southampton in the semi-final.
Despite playing in each of the last three rounds for Leicester, Jamie Vardy is still yet to score this season’s FA Cup. Indeed, he’s scored just twice in 15 appearances in the competition for the Foxes, with his last strike coming against Chelsea in March 2018.
Since his first appearance in the competition in January 2016, Kelechi Iheanacho has scored more FA Cup goals than any other player (14, excluding qualifiers). He could become just the second Nigerian to score in an FA Cup final after Kanu for Portsmouth in 2008.
Should he feature, Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud will appear in his sixth FA Cup final. A tally bettered only by Ashley Cole (8), Ryan Giggs, and Roy Keane (7 each) in the post-WWII era. The Frenchman has been directly involved in six goals in his last nine FA Cup matches at Wembley Stadium (3 goals, 3 assists).
Both teams similarly head into the final as they’re both in the hunt for a place in the top 4. Chelsea was in a rampaging form until they lost one-nil to Arsenal days back, and that could give the foxes some kind of inspiration. But with some players coming in for Chelsea and their rugged defense, I think Chelsea could just nick this by 2 goals to nil.