Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is relishing the Blues’ FA Cup final showdown with Manchester United, pointing to the West Londoners past successes at Wembley Stadium as the reason why the squad is approaching the cup tie with plenty of optimism.
“For me it is the fifth or sixth time playing at Wembley, and it is always good,” Kante was quoted as saying by the club website.
Neither side have been particularly impressive this season, with the Blues finishing a disappointing fifth while United came in second, a massive 19 points behind champions Manchester City.
“Having half and half supporters makes it very special. The only thing I have won there are two semi-finals, so to win one trophy there would be really amazing.”
The EFL Cup didn’t bring much success either and neither did Europe, which leaves the Blues and Red Devils the one chance at lifting any silverware this season: The FA Cup.
“We are all a bit disappointed about our final place in the table, but this is something to win, something to finish the season on a good note, and something we can enjoy all together with the team, the staff, the supporters. We are really looking forward to it.”
After repeated clashes with the board, Antonio Conte’s job is reportedly on the line and a loss on Saturday could see him finally get the sack.
“Every final is different,” the Frenchman, who has been one of the few Blues players to have played at a consistent level throughout the season, insisted.
“We have played Manchester United twice this season, we have won once and lost once, and I think we have our chances of winning this game and getting this trophy” the diminutive midfielder added.
Newcastle should take a punt on “dream target” David Luiz
Newcastle could make a surprise swoop for Chelsea’s David Luiz this summer, as manager Rafael Benitez is a big fan of the Brazilian.
According to a report in the Chronicle, David Luiz is Rafa Benitez’s “dream target” this summer, after expressing an interest in the Brazilian in January.
Luiz has struggled for playing time at Chelsea, and will surely be looking to move elsewhere whether Antonio Conte remains in charge or not.
The 31-year-old is unlikely to make the cut at one of Europe’s elite anymore, so could he be the Magpies’ marquee summer signing?
Aforementioned, Luiz has been in and out of the Chelsea team this season, starting just nine times in the Premier League for the Blues.
The flamboyant Brazilian would be a great weapon for the Magpies if Rafa Benitez could pull it off, as his ability to play in defence or midfield would be a huge asset.
Discipline has always been a problem for the Brazilian, picking up four yellows and one red in the league this season despite barely playing, but Benitez has already worked his magic to calm Jonjo Shelvey down, so he could do the same with Luiz.
Luiz tends to split opinion among football fans, with some appreciating his obvious quality while others can’t look past his lapses of concentration. If there is any manager disciplined enough to get the best out of him though, it’s Benitez.
The Magpies have of course already found a successful partnership in defence with Florian Lejeune and Jamaal Lascelles, but Luiz could fill into a back three in big games, or even partner Jonjo Shelvey in midfield if the impressive Mo Diame loses his form again.
Luiz averaged 2.4 interceptions per game in his ten Premier League appearances this season, and his age and standing at Chelsea could make him a bargain for Benitez and the Magpies.