Wembley is a wonderful place to watch football. Admittedly, I never had the chance to go to the ‘Old Wembley’ but I’ve been told it was much the same. I was at last season’s FA Cup Semi against Everton when Martial went through in the dying minutes and tucked it into the corner, that moment was the closest I’d been to passing out with excitement and adrenaline. That moment will stay with me for a long time and every time I hear his song, I relive that moment. It’s worth noting at this point, I didn’t get a ticket for the Final because I couldn’t attend the 3rd round game against Ipswich at home (I think). However, the FA Cup final was also filled with drama and won in true United style.
The previous two ‘meaningful’ matches at Wembley for The Reds (obviously not including the McDonald’s Shield against Leicester in pre-season) have been exciting, action packed wins. So I’m feeling like a 10-year-old at Christmas thinking about this Sunday against a very average Southampton team in which I fully expect another trophy to return to Old Trafford. United are unbeaten in one-off competitive matches since October and Jose’s playing the way that United should, oh yeaaah.
The Saints come into the Final in fine form with one win from their last four matches in all competitions. They also impressed me with some brilliant business by letting their Captain and best centre back leave to a mid-table mediocrity rival in the January transfer window. Although I have to admit Gabbiadini looks a handful up top and United will need to be tight to him at all times so he can’t snake around the box and pop up at the front post with a naughty Italian flick.
How they both got there:
United: Northampton Town, Manchester City, West Ham, Hull City.
Southampton: Crystal Palace, Sunderland, Arsenal, Liverpool.
It’s clear to see Southampton have had an impressive run to reach Wembley. What’s more impressive is that they haven’t conceded a single goal throughout the campaign. United on the other hand, apart from Hull who proved to be tough at the KC-KCOM-K Stadium, have only had to push aside small clubs to get the final and if United win, it’ll go down as a relatively straight forward EFL Cup campaign.
As Claude Puel targets his first piece of silverware at St Mary’s, I fully expect United to win a fifth League Cup this weekend. As a fan, I want to enjoy the day with a few soda and limes watching a comfortable 3-0 victory but in all honesty, I can’t see it being that easy. Southampton will come to fight and I know they’ll make it tough. Plus, who doesn’t love Cup Final drama?! See you there Reds!