It has been 26 years since Manchester United defeated Crystal Palace in the FA Cup Final at the Wembley Stadium. Here they are again, ready to lock horns in the FA Cup 2015-16 Final at the same venue on Saturday.
First things first â€” time is running out for Red Devils manager Louis van Gaal to shut his critics and save his job, as Saturday's final could well be his last match as United boss if the Reds of Manchester lose to the Eagles.
This is clearly the last chance the Dutchman has to bring some glory back to the Theatre of Dreams after yet another disappointing season.
This could also be a landmark in Van Gaal's career as it will be his first trophy as Manchester United manager in two years. Every critic has referred to his tactics and strategies as boring throughout the recently-concluded season, and now it is high time he ends United's 12-year-long wait for an FA Cup title.
Surprisingly, Crystal Palace coach Alan Pardew was a part of the side that lost to Manchester United in the FA Cup final in 1990. But he does not have revenge on his mind. He knows the magnitude of this match and is also aware of what kind of a team they are playing against.
They had a woeful season in the English Premier League (EPL) as they finished 15th in the points table. But their form in the FA Cup will certainly boost their morale as they overcame Southampton, Stoke City, Tottenam Hotspur, Reading and Watford to set up an FA Cup final clash against Manchester United.
The Eagles' recent run of form away from home will also be a point of concern as they have not registered a single win against their opponents in the last five games. Pardew will certainly earn a lot of praise if he can bring the FA Cup trophy to Selhurst Park.
On the other hand, the last time United lifted the FA Cup trophy was against Millwall back in 2004 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff under Sir Alex Ferguson. The Red Devils have 11 FA Cup titles to their name and have a great chance to equal Arsenal's number of FA Cup trophies (12).
Manchester United have defeated Sheffield United, Derby County, Shrewsbury Town, West Ham United and Everton on their road to the FA Cup final at the Wembley Stadium.
With no Champions League at Old Trafford in the next season, van Gaal will want his team to win this FA Cup Final tie against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
FA Cup final 2016 schedule â€“ Crystal Palace vs Manchester United
Date: May 21, 2016, Saturday.
Time: 5:30 p.m. local time (10 p.m. IST, 4:30 p.m. GMT, 12:30 p.m. EST).
Venue: Wembley Stadium, London.
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