Saturday’s FA Cup Final sees a repeat of the famous 1990 epic which took a replay to confirm Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United as champions over spirited underdogs Crystal Palace. And the signs suggest that another narrow victory for the Red Devils is on the cards in the 2016 showpiece.
The Old Trafford outfit have been quietly impressive of late, chalking up six wins in their past eight games, including a comfortable victory over the Eagles last month.
By contrast, Palace have tasted victory just twice in seven outings, suffering a defeat to relegated Newcastle United in the process – and their lack of goals will be a concern for Pardew, who has seen his side score just six times during that period.
Man United also have by far the better record in prior clashes between these two clubs. Louis van Gaal’s men claimed 16 points in the last six meetings – all in the Premier League.
Going back further, Palace have beaten the north-west giants only once since 1989, with the sides having faced off 25 times since then.
The Red Devils’ superior form is reflected in their odds as 3/4 favourites to win with Palace 9/2 and 13/5 for this game to produce extra-time – just as the first game did in 1990.
The best value could be on which player will strike first, with Marcus Rashford 9/2 to net the opener – something the 18-year-old has already done four times since his senior debut less than three months ago.
Another interesting stat is that van Gaal’s men have won three of their last six clashes with the Selhurst Park club by a 2-0 scoreline, so 6/1 for United to do so again could prove very popular.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.