Most of the European leagues have now finished but this weekend sees seven major cup finals taking place all over the continent. On this week’s listening report we preview all seven matches and even offer a prediction or two! Listen to the report by clicking below, while explanations of key vocabulary (in bold) can be found at the bottom of the post.
FA Cup: Manchester United – Crystal Palace
This is a repeat of the 1990 final when Manchester United won in a replay after a 3-3 draw in the first game. This time round they start as favourites to defeat a side that has never won a major trophy though in the season that Leicester City won their first ever league title nothing can be ruled out. Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew played in that 1990 final and he will be out for some form of revenge this time round though under-pressure United manager Louis Van Gaal will be hoping to win his first piece of silverware in English football. It should be an interesting occasion at Wembley.
Prediction: It has to be Manchester United
Copa del Rey: Sevilla – Barcelona
Now, Barcelona have already won the Spanish league title and so they start as clear favourites to win their 28th Copa del Rey title that’s going to take place in Madrid this weekend. Their opponents Sevilla are fresh from winning their third Europa League title in a row earlier in the week so both sides will be vying for a double. Barca should be too strong for the Andalucian club but Sevilla know how to win a cup final. It will be closer than many people think.
German Pokal Final: Borussia Dortmund – Bayern Munich
The top two in Germany face off in the cup final this weekend in Berlin with most people tipping Guardiola’s side to complete the domestic double. These sides have met more than any other in a German final (4 times) and Dortmund will be hoping to win their first German cup since 2012. Interestingly, their captain Matts Hummells has just signed for Bayern so this will be his last match. Will it be a winning send off for him or indeed for the departing Bayern manager Guardiola?
Prediction: A surprise in store for Guardiola? Dortmund to sneak it.
Coppa Italia: AC Milan – Juventus
Another side trying to win a domestic double is Juventus – in fact they would become the first Italian side to win the ‘double double’ having won it last year as well – as they take on AC Milan in the final of the Italian Cup in Rome. Juventus should be too strong for Milan but their rivals have found some sort of form towards the end of the season though I am not sure that they can spring a surprise.
Prediction: Comfortable victory for Juventus
Coupe de France Final: Marseille – Paris Saint-Germain
Paris Saint-Germain will be favourites to lift their 10th French Cup to go along with their recently won league title when they play against Marseille on Saturday evening. All eyes will, of course, be on Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic as he plays his last game for the Parisian club after four years and 154 goals. PSG will surely have enough to win their second domestic treble in a row against a troubled Marseille side that finished only 13th in Ligue 1.
Prediction: No trouble for Paris Saint-Germain
Scottish Cup Final: Rangers – Hibernian
Now, much like last season when few would have predicted Falkirk and Inverness Caledonian Thistle facing off in the final, not too many pundits would have suggested that two teams from the second tier of Scottish football would contest this year’s final – the first time in the competition’s 131 year history that this has happened. Rangers will, of course, be in the Scottish top division next season unlike Hibernian who lost out in a promotion play-off last week. The Edinburgh side have also lost their last 10 finals and have not lifted the trophy for over a century. History and form are very much against them but you never know in football.
Prediction: It’s got to be Rangers
Taça de Portugal: Porto – Braga
Now Braga will be hoping that they can go one better than last season’s final when they lost on penalties to Sporting Lisbon. This time round the team from the north of the country will be hoping to add to their solitary victory in the cup from 1966 when they take on northern rivals FC Porto in the Estádio Nacional. Their rivals, Porto, have not had the best of seasons finishing 15 points behind the winners Sporting in third place – though they were another 15 points ahead of fourth place Braga. They’ve history on their side having won the trophy on 16 occasions though not since 2011.
Prediction: A surprise victory for Braga
Let us know what you think will happen in this weekend’s cup finals by posting a comment below.
a major trophy: The league or FA Cup title, Crystal palace have never won anything
nothing can be ruled out: There should be no surprises
will be vying for: Will be trying very hard
face off: Play against
winning send off: A victorious last game
they take on: They face/play against
spring a surprise: Cause an upset
to lift: To win the trophy (raise the cup)
would contest the final: Would play against each other
solitary victory: Only win
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