Weblog: The football punter

Wembley is a place for special ones

BASKING in the limelight is nothing new to Jose Mourinho so he’ll milk yet another 15 minutes of fame at Wembley.

The first cup final of the season sees Mourinho’s United tackle Southampton, back at Wembley for the first time since, er, the last time they were there.

Mourinho and the mild-mannered Claude Puel clearly weren’t separated at birth and the differences in their personality are mirrored by the differences in the form of their teams.

While United are flying on all fronts, Saints are all over the place, terrible one minute, a little bit better the next.

What the two men do have in common is they divide opinions.

Many United fans I know still aren’t sure about the Special One and Saints supporters seem to be constantly blowing hot and cold over Puel; a disaster after being battered by Arsenal in the FA Cup and losing back-to-back to Swansea and West Ham, but a hero for smashing Sunderland.

The fact is that Soton look short of strikers and short of defenders and even allowing for my limited knowledge of football, I reckon that’s probably quite a handicap.

So the upshot is a United win, which will come as no surprise since it’s a venue where they rarely lose. Since losing to Messi’s Barcelona in the Champions League final at Wembley they’ve been back there five times and won all five matches.

The last three of those were by 2-1 scorelines so that’s your correct score conundrum solved.

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Match in Focus

19:45 TODAY BT1

Fiorentina v Torino

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Torino have drawn four of their last seven matches
Expert verdict
Fiorentina suffered an extraordinary collapse in their Europa League tie with Borussia Monchengladbach on Thursday – leading 3-0 on aggregate before conceding four goals inside 17 minutes – and that may still be on their minds when they face Torino in Florence. Torino lost 4-1 at Roma last time out but have had a full week to prepare and can take a share of the points.