Predictions

Nation united

Manchester will still be in everyone’s minds as we enter the bank holiday weekend but there are two cup competitions to sort out this Saturday in both Scotland and England.

 

First up is the Scottish Cup final as Celtic target their first treble under Brendan Rodgers. The Hoops must however overcome Aberdeen, who have been in fine form as of late.

 

After events north of the border are done, attention then turns to the FA Cup final at Wembley as Arsenal and Chelsea lock horns once more.

 

This FA Cup final could be Arsene Wenger’s last as he looks set to leave his team of 20 years. He however could go out on a high by becoming the only manager to win seven FA Cups.

 

Scottish Cup – Aberdeen vs Celtic (3:00pm)

 

Celtic enter this knowing that a domestic treble is in sight, along with an unbeaten season containing no defeats.

 

Aberdeen will be heading to Hampden Park in a confident mood, having won two of their last three matches. The highlight from that run was the 6-0 away demolition at Partick Thistle.

 

Both sides met just two weeks ago in the Scottish Premiership, where Celtic flew out of the traps into a 3-0 lead. The Dons managed to pull one back shortly afterwards but the score finished 1-3 to the former.

 

This isn’t the only cup meeting between these teams at Hampden Park, having met at the same stage in the League Cup. If things go like it did that day, Celtic will be celebrating another trophy.

 

Since the epic 1990 final which saw Aberdeen win on penalties, there has been five meetings with both sides winning twice. One of Aberdeen’s wins came after a replay in the 2007-08 competition when the original quarter final ended in a 1-1 draw.

 

With Moussa Dembele fit, Celtic will have to be fancied here because they have won all but two meetings since losing this fixture in the fifth round of 2013-14 Scottish Cup.

 

The Dons however if can start better defensively than they did two weeks ago, can cause some problems. Sadly, I cant see them managing to create trouble all match to prevent a domestic treble for the Hoops.

 

Prediction: Aberdeen 1-2 Celtic

Result: Aberdeen 1-2 Celtic

 

Arsenal vs Chelsea (5:30pm)

 

In what could well be Arsene Wenger’s farewell match, he will have to make do without most of his defence.

 

Although fitness is on Chelsea’s side, history is firmly against them having beaten the Gunners just once in their FA Cup meetings for past 70 years.

 

These two sides have met before in an FA Cup final when Arsenal did the double in the 2001-02 season. This time around, it is the Blues who can achieve that domestic double.

 

Both teams are probably going to play the 3-4-3 formation here but they are yet to face each other using that formation head to head.

 

Chelsea switched to that formation midway through their league clash at the Emirates in September.

 

Arsenal however didn’t convert to 3-4-3 till last month against Middlesbrough, meaning that we could be in for a thriller if both sides are evenly matched.

 

Both sides have been here before with Chelsea winning their last four FA Cup finals. Arsenal however have a slightly better record of five finals and too they won on each occasion.

 

Given that history isn’t on the West Londoners side, they will have to ignore the stat and play with no fear. As for the Gunners, they must win if Wenger is to stand any chance of staying at the Emirates.

 

On that note, I think extra time will be needed with Arsenal just nicking it before a penalty shootout is required.

 

Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea AET

Result: Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea (After NT)

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