Manchester City Vs Manchester United FA Cup Final Match Preview (1 Viewer)

MartinGee

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This Saturday afternoon, under the iconic arch of Wembley Stadium, Manchester City and Manchester United are set to clash once again in a highly anticipated rematch of last year's Manchester derby in the 143rd FA Cup final.

Manchester City, determined to hold onto England's oldest trophy, are aiming for their eighth FA Cup victory. Meanwhile, Manchester United are seeking revenge and hoping to claim the prestigious prize for the 13th time.

Last year, City was on the brink of a historic treble, breaking numerous records along the way. Although their Champions League defense ended in a heartbreaking penalty shootout loss to Real Madrid in the quarter-finals earlier this season, their domestic dominance remains undiminished.

City recently secured their fourth consecutive Premier League title, a feat never before achieved in English top-flight history, by defeating West Ham United 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

Premier League Player of the Season Phil Foden scored twice early on, with Rodri sealing the victory with a long-range strike. City's relentless pursuit of success under manager Pep Guardiola, who has now won six Premier League titles and 17 trophies in total during his eight years at the helm, continues to set new standards.

Guardiola, awarded Premier League Manager of the Season, has hinted that his time at City may be nearing its end with his contract expiring in 2025. However, he has the chance to make more history by leading City to consecutive FA Cup victories, a feat never achieved in English football. City could also join Manchester United and Arsenal as teams that have won the league and FA Cup double multiple times.

On the other hand, Manchester United, under manager Erik ten Hag, are facing mounting pressure after an underwhelming season. They finished eighth in the Premier League, their lowest-ever finish, and must win the FA Cup to secure a spot in next season's Europa Conference League.

Despite injuries and illness plaguing their season, United have shown flashes of brilliance in the FA Cup, most notably in their thrilling 4-3 extra-time victory over Liverpool in the quarter-finals.

Ten Hag is determined to fight for the FA Cup and end the season on a high note, but even a victory might not be enough to secure his job ahead of an anticipated summer overhaul. United's recent record against City is poor, having lost six of their last seven meetings and conceding 21 goals in the process. However, they have a better record in FA Cup encounters with City, winning five of their last seven, although both defeats came at Wembley.

As the two rivals prepare to face off once more, the stakes couldn't be higher. Manchester City are firm favorites, but in a derby, anything can happen. For Manchester United, this match represents a chance for redemption and a much-needed boost after a challenging season.

INJURIES & SUSPENSION​

Man City will be without goalkeeper Ederson, who fractured his eye socket against Spurs just over a week ago. Stefan Ortega is set to step in, having played in all five of City’s FA Cup matches this season.

Defenders Nathan Ake and John Stones are both pushing for a recall, but it looks like captain Kyle Walker, Manuel Akanji, Ruben Dias, and Josko Gvardiol will keep their spots in the backline. They'll be supported by Rodri in midfield, who holds the record for the longest unbeaten run (74 games) in club football history.

Pep Guardiola is considering whether to bring back Mateo Kovacic to partner with Rodri in midfield or go with an extra attacker, as he did against West Ham, where Jeremy Doku started on the left flank.

Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne, and Bernardo Silva are expected to start in the attacking midfield roles behind striker Erling Haaland, who is just one goal behind in the race for the FA Cup Golden Boot.

For Man United, Erik ten Hag has confirmed that Harry Maguire will miss the final due to a muscle injury. Tyrell Malacia (knee) and Luke Shaw (muscle) are also out, while Victor Lindelof (hamstring), Mason Mount (unspecified), and Anthony Martial (groin) have returned to training and might be fit for the match.

Raphael Varane, having recovered from a muscle issue, made a substitute appearance last weekend and hopes to feature in his final game for Man United before leaving the club this summer. If Varane isn’t fit to start, Casemiro might continue at center-back alongside Jonny Evans or Lisandro Martinez, who recently returned from injury.

Rasmus Hojlund, who scored as a substitute in United's last two league games, is pushing for a start and could replace Scott McTominay, with Bruno Fernandes moving to the number 10 role. Marcus Rashford, left out of England’s provisional Euro 2024 squad, will be competing with Amad Diallo and Alejandro Garnacho for a starting spot on the wings.

POSSIBLE LINE-UPS​

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ortega; Walker, Akanji, Dias, Gvardiol; Rodri, Kovacic; Bernardo, De Bruyne, Foden; Haaland

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
Onana; Wan-Bissaka, Casemiro, Martinez, Dalot; Mainoo, Amrabat; Diallo, Fernandes, Garnacho; Hojlund


EXPERT PREDICTION​

Manchester City 4-2 Manchester United

Back-to-back league wins have given Man United a much-needed morale boost heading into Saturday's showdown. Ten Hag's men are highly motivated to defeat their local rivals, claim some silverware, and secure a spot in Europe. But can anyone realistically bet against the powerhouse that is Man City?

The Citizens have shown in recent weeks, with victories over Spurs in the league and Chelsea in the semi-final, that they don’t need to be at their very best to win when it counts.

Guardiola's squad, nearly at full strength, is performing at a higher level than their Red Devil counterparts. As the clear favorites, they are expected to outscore their opponents and retain the FA Cup.
 

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