Jan Molby

Arsenal and Barca to celebrate on magical day for fans

Jan Molby

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There is a fantastic day in store for football fans on Saturday with both the FA Cup final and the Liga decider taking place on Saturday.

It is a shame that both are on at the same time but if I was given a choice of watching only one of the two games I'd take the FA Cup final every time.

Even for me as child growing up in Denmark – the FA Cup final was THE match that everybody watched.

Denmark internationals were not even broadcast live but the Cup final was and I can recall every single one of them growing up.

You were intrigued and gripped by all the build-up and then you had the mystique of Wembley which was the biggest stadium you'd ever seen as a young boy.

I still remember the first one I watched – it was Arsenal v Liverpool in 1971 when I was seven and my favourite one was the 1979 Cup final when Arsenal beat Manchester United 3-2.

Without doubt one of the reasons why I moved to England and signed for Liverpool was because I wanted to play in an FA Cup final.

Looking ahead to Saturday's match and it is a huge day for both clubs. Arsenal may have played in the Champions League for years, but their fans have let everybody know in recent weeks how much it means to them – singing about going to Wembley at every opportunity.

Equally for Hull it is a massive occasion - a completely new experience after a fantastic ride.

The FA Cup has its detractors but it will be a magical day for both sets of fans.

When it comes to the match, you have to say Arsenal are the big favourites as they have played themselves back into form at the end of the season.

They look defensively very strong, which I actually think they have been all season against the lesser teams. It is only the better teams that have really exposed them.

I think it will take a very big effort from Hull to beat them, especially without their two main strikers Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long who are cup-tied.

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We shouldn't forget that Arsenal won quite comfortably at the KC Stadium just a couple of weeks ago but Steve Bruce is a clever manager – he knows his team's limitations and will put out a line-up that will look to frustrate Arsenal.

Hull will keep it tight and the longer the game goes on without a goal, the more nervous Arsenal will become.

The pressure is all on Arsenal and as we saw in their last Cup final – the 2011 League Cup decider against Birmingham – they got more nervous the closer the match got to the end and those nerves saw them make a mistake which cost them the match. Who knows, the same thing could happen on Saturday?

There is no doubt that Arsenal's trophy doubt is a factor going into this match. There are certain things you can never get away from in football and Arsenal's drought is now linked to the club. You can have lots of new players, but as soon as you step in the door at the Emirates, you know it is your job to try and end that trophy hoodoo.

Arsene Wenger has an important role to play here. He has to make sure his players see that he is ready. Wenger is not the type of manager who shouts, screams and motivates in the dressing room – he leaves that to the players – but he has to make sure the players are prepared. Arsenal need to get a grip of things early and not give Hull any encouragement.

Hull won't be content to just make up the numbers. It will a massive disappointment for them if they lose because they know they might never be in this situation again. Even if you are a big underdog, you never go into a match like this thinking: if we get beat then so what?

I think it will be a tight game – you very rarely see a lot of goals in these Cup finals, but I do think if Arsenal get the first goal that will then ease the pressure and they can push on and win 2-0.

Looking at the Liga decider between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid and I can't help but feel that the trophy has fallen into Barca's lap.

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They have been given an opportunity that nobody thought they would get and I don't think they are going to pass up on this one.

They are most definitely not the force they were one or two years ago but I still think they've got one big game left in them.

Atletico Madrid have done well against them this season but after qualifying for the Champions League final, it seems almost like Atletico have now become overwhelmed by the situation they find themselves in.

Barcelona might just have too many clever players, players who can take the game away from Atletico and just wait for their chances.

The best teams tend to win the league, but if Barcelona do end up victorious you have to say it will be because the two Madrid clubs have thrown it away.

As turbulent as Barca's season has been though, they still have experienced players who can dig out a performance on the day.

I think Barcelona have too much know-how when it comes to winning big games and Atletico might just be running on empty after a tough season.

So I reckon the Catalans will be celebrating with Arsenal come Saturday night.

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