The oldest cup competition in the world reaches its climax on Saturday when Crystal Palace and Manchester United meet at Wembley in the FA Cup final.
Forget those who put a downer on the tournament, the magic will well and truly be alive for the thousands of fans who walk down Wembley Way dreaming of their captain lifting the famous trophy.
United are bidding to become the competition’s joint most successful side; a 12th win tomorrow would see them level with Arsenal.
Palace are looking for their first. The Eagles have only made the final once before, in 1990, when it was United who beat them 1-0 in a replay after the first tie ended in a 3-3 draw.
Playing centre-midfield in those matches was current Palace boss Alan Pardew.
He has the honour of leading his side out tomorrow, and a win would see the already popular manager surely given the freedom of south London.
His opposite number, Louis van Gaal, enjoys a very different relationship with his club’s fans.
United’s failure to make the top four this season has left the abrasive Dutchman’s job in the balance.
With the vultures circling, even lifting the trophy might not be enough to keep him in employment beyond the summer.
Betway make United favourites at 3/4 to win inside 90 minutes, which I’m backing.
United have been criticised for their dour, uninspiring football this year, but it has been effective.
Anthony Martial scored the winner in the semi-final against Everton and looks to have a goal in him, as does England new-boy Marcus Rashford.
David de Gea was denied the Premier League Golden Glove award for most clean sheets by a late Chris Smalling own-goal against Bournemouth on Tuesday, but he remains a model of excellence in goal, and Palace will find him tough to beat.
While Palace have performed well in the cup they’ve been in poor form generally, winning just seven out of their last 26 in all competitions. Five of those came in their run to the final.
While I think they’ll remain in the game, I can see United nicking it in a low scorer. I’m selling total goals at 2.25 with Sporting Index.
Manchester United (in 90 mins) 3/4 (Betway)
Sell total goals 2.25 (Sporting Index)