Saturday 19 May should be a great day for football punters who love the thrill of a cup final with both the Scottish Cup Final and the FA Cup Finals taking place. Therefore, we thought we’d bring you a bit of cup history, as well as some vital statistics you may want to consider before placing a bet.
The Scottish Cup Final – Celtic vs Motherwell (3.00)
Scottish Cup Final History
The Scottish Cup, also known as the Scottish Football Association Challenge Cup or just Scottish FA Cup, was first played in the 1873/74 season. The first final was won by Queen’s Park who would go on to record three successive victories before winning their tenth and final Scottish Cup in 1893.
However, it is Celtic who hold the record of 37 Scottish Cup victories, four more than their fierce rivals Rangers. Celtic have also been beaten finalists 18 times, with their last defeat coming in the 2002 final. They have won the Scottish Cup six times since that last defeat.
Meanwhile, Motherwell have won the Scottish Cup just twice. The first of those victories was in 1952 and the second in 1991. They have been beaten finalists five times, the last of which was in 2011.
The Scottish Cup is also believed to be the third longest running football competition in the world, whilst the Scottish FA Cup Trophy is believed to be the oldest footballing trophy in the world having been made in 1885.
How Celtic Got To The 2018 Scottish Cup Final
Celtic had a relatively easy run to the 2018 Scottish Cup Final as they beat Brechin City 5-0 in their opening match. They then had to survive a late rally from Partick Thistle in the next round before they progressed 3-2. Neither Morton in the quarter-finals or Rangers in the semi-finals put up much resistance though as Celtic beat them 3-0 and 4-0, respectively.
How Motherwell Got To The 2018 Scottish Cup Final
By contrast, Motherwell had to overcome a much more difficult route to the 2018 Scottish Cup Final as they had to beat four of their fellow Scottish Premier League Clubs to get there. They beat both Hamilton Academical and Dundee 2-0 in the first two rounds before having to play sixth placed Hearts in the quarter-finals who they beat 2-1. They were then the underdogs against Aberdeen in the semi-finals with Aberdeen fancied to make it to the final having been the second-best team in the Scottish Premier League Season. However, Motherwell ran out convincing 3-0 winners to book their place in the final.
Scottish Premier League Form
Celtic ran out relatively easy winners of the 2017/18 Scottish Premier League, amassing 82 points and a +48 goal-difference. Meanwhile, Motherwell finished in mid-table in seventh place with just 48 points and a –6 goal-difference.
Celtic vs Motherwell Head To Heads
Since the 1994/95 Scottish Premier League Season, Celtic and Motherwell have played each other 91 times in all competitions. Celtic have won 61 times, Motherwell 12 times, and there have been 18 draws.
The last time Motherwell won was in April 2016 when they beat Celtic 2-1 away from home. However, since then, Celtic have won eight of the last 10 matches with the other two being draws. Those wins included two League Cup win in 2016 and 2017 when they won 2-0 away from home and 5-0 at home. Motherwell have held Celtic to draws twice at home this season though, but Celtic also crushed them 5-1 at Celtic Park.
Scottish Cup Final 2018 Summary
Cup Finals are so often the stuff of fairy tales, a time when neutral fans often find themselves rooting for the underdog. However, though Motherwell’s Scottish Cup run has gained them plenty of respect, it’s asking a lot of them to win a Scottish Cup Final against a club like Celtic who have won their last six Scottish Cup Finals and have once more proved themselves the best team in Scotland this season.
The FA Cup Final 2018 – Chelsea vs Manchester United (5.15)
FA Cup Final History
The FA Cup is officially the world’s longest-running football competition with the inaugural FA Cup Final being played in 1872. Manchester United are second in the list of all-time winners behind Arsenal, whom they can draw level with on 13 wins if they should beat Chelsea in the 2018 FA Cup Final. They have also been beaten finalists seven times. United’s last win was in 2016 when they defeated Crystal Palace 2-1 in the Final, which was their second win this century.
Meanwhile, Chelsea sit joint-fourth in the list of all-time winners alongside Aston Villa and Liverpool with seven wins. They have also finished runner-up on five occasions. Chelsea have won the FA Cup five times this century but were beaten in the final for the second time this century by Arsenal in last year’s final.
How Chelsea Got To The 2018 FA Cup Final
Chelsea nearly blew this year’s FA Cup competition at the first hurdle as they drew 0-0 at Norwich before only managing a draw in the replay. However, they overcome Norwich in the resulting penalty shootout to book a game against Newcastle who they despatched with comparative ease with a 3-0 win. They then won 4-0 against Hull before sneaking past Leicester 2-1 in the quarter-finals and beating Southampton 2-0 in the semi-finals.
How Manchester United Got To The 2018 FA Cup Final
Manchester United had probably already given up on their dream of winning the Premier League in January, as they were a long way behind neighbours Manchester City, but that probably helped Jose Mourinho decide to target the FA Cup. His team certainly grabbed the bull by the horns as they notched up four straight wins without conceding a goal against Derby, Yeovil, Huddersfield, and Brighton. They then went onto win a difficult looking semi-final against Tottenham, a win made even more meritorious by the fact that it was played at Tottenham home ground for the season, Wembley.
2018 Premier League Form
Both Manchester United and Chelsea will probably be disappointed by their Premier League campaigns, with United fans bemoaning the fact they were beaten by 19 points by their record-breaking neighbours Manchester City. However, Chelsea fans will be even more disappointed as the 2016/17 Champions looked a shadow of the team from the previous season and failed to qualify for the Champions League by finishing fifth.
Chelsea vs Manchester United Head To Heads
The most significant match between the two clubs was the 2007 FA Cup Final which Chelsea won 1-0 in extra-time. However, Chelsea have also won both of their FA Cup Matches since, winning a replay in 2013 before winning 1-0 in 2017.
Premier League head to heads have been more evenly balanced of late though, with home advantage proving the deciding factor in the last five matches between them, Chelsea winning three times and United two.
2018 FA Cup Final Summary
Picking the winner of the 2018 FA Cup Final is a tough call. Manchester United finished three places and 11 points higher than Chelsea, but it was one win each in their Premier League matches. Meanwhile, whilst Manchester United have won more FA Cups, it is Chelsea who have won it five times in the last 18 years, and four times in the last 12 years. Chelsea have also won the last three FA Cup ties between the two clubs, including the 2007 Final.