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Manchester City logo
FA Cup | Final
May 25, 2024 at 3pm UK
Wembley Stadium
Manchester United logo

Man City
1 - 2
Man Utd

Doku (87')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Garnacho (30'), Mainoo (39')
Mainoo (45'), Alvarez (90+7'), McTominay (90+5')

Preview: Manchester City vs. Manchester United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's FA Cup clash between Manchester City and Manchester United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Reuniting under the famous arch of Wembley Stadium for a repeat of last year's Manchester derby showpiece, bitter rivals Manchester City and Manchester United do battle in the 143rd FA Cup final on Saturday afternoon.

The two sides may have been polar opposites in terms of consistency in recent years, but having both now reached this fixture in successive years, 2024 marks the first time since 1885 - 139 years ago - that the FA Cup final has been contested by the same two clubs in back-to-back seasons.

Man City emerged victorious last year and are vying to retain England's oldest trophy to hoist it aloft for the eighth time in their history, while the Red Devils are out for revenge and are seeking to get their hands on the prestigious prize for a 13th time.

Match preview

Manchester City's Kyle Walker and teammates celebrate with the trophy after winning the Premier League on May 19, 2024© Reuters

This time last year, Man City were marching towards a historic treble, with both the club and individual stars breaking a plethora of records along the way.

Although their aspirations of retaining the Champions League came to an emotionally exhausting end earlier this season, losing on penalties to Real Madrid in the quarter-finals, they remain on course to etch their name into the history books on the domestic front for the second time in the space of just six days.

Despite the best efforts of challengers Arsenal who pushed them right to the final day, Man City have been crowned Premier League champions once again after beating West Ham United 3-1 in front of a carnival atmosphere at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, becoming the first team in English top-flight history to win four titles in a row.

The Citizens made the perfect start as Premier League Player of the Season Phil Foden scored twice in the first 18 minutes, including a stunning second-minute opener.

Mohammed Kudus's spectacular bicycle kick on the stroke of half time was the only real moment of magic from West Ham all afternoon against a dominant City outfit, who sealed the three points and the title when Rodri's long-range strike nestled into the bottom corner just before the hour mark.

Bet365 Bonus code 365MOLE: Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets for the FA Cup Final

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The FA Cup final between Manchester City and Manchester United has finally arrived, and you can take advantage of Bet365's offer for new players with bonus code 365MOLE to bet on the final. Sign up using the bet365 bonus code 365MOLE to receive the Bet £10 Get £30 offer, and deposit between £5 and £10 on a qualifying bet to receive three times that value in free bets. The promotion applies to a minimum odds selection of 1/5 or greater, which is currently valid on any selection in the FA Cup final 90-minute match result market as both sides are priced at higher odds.

Latest Match Result odds at time of writing (subject to change):

  • Man City - 1/3

  • Draw - 9/2

  • Man United - 7/1
  • Selected boosts are also available such as:

  • Man City to win both halves - boosted from 7/4 to 15/8

  • Man City to win 3-1 - boosted from 9/1 to 10/1

  • FA Cup final: Can Guardiola lead City to historic back-to-back doubles?

    Man City's relentless drive to succeed season after season has been instilled by manager Pep Guardiola, who continues to cement his status as one of, if not the, best coaches the beautiful game has ever produced having now won six Premier League titles and 17 trophies in total during his eight years at the helm.

    Guardiola, who has been rewarded with the Premier League Manager of the Season accolade, has admitted that he is now running out of things to achieve at Man City, and with his contract set to expire in 2025, the Catalan has stated that he is "closer to leaving than staying", hinting that next season could be his last at the Etihad.

    Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola celebrates with the trophy after winning the Premier League on May 19, 2024© Reuters

    The 53-year-old was, however, reliably informed by Gary Lineker last weekend that he can create further history with Man City in Saturday's Wembley showpiece, as no team in English football has ever won the top-flight title and FA Cup in consecutive seasons.

    The Citizens could complete the league title and FA Cup double for the third time, something that has only been achieved previously by Man United (1993-94, 1995-96 and 1998-99) and Arsenal (1970-71, 1997-98 and 2001-02) in the history of English football.

    Such records and statistics are in danger of becoming engulfed by all of the other remarkable standards set by Man City in recent years, but the possibility of achieving in the space of six seasons something which only two other clubs have managed in English football history should not be downplayed.

    Arsenal were in fact the last team to win back-to-back FA Cups (2014 and 2015) and have won a record 14 trophies in total, with Man United second on the all-time list with 12, while Man City can move into joint-third with eight triumphs along with Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur if they can come out on top this weekend.

    Since losing 3-2 to Liverpool in the semi-finals of the 2022 FA Cup, Man City have won each of their last 11 games in the competition, scoring 34 goals and conceding only five times.

    Guardiola's men have navigated their way past Huddersfield Town, Spurs, Luton Town, Newcastle United and Chelsea to reach another final this term, edging past the latter by a 1-0 scoreline in the semi-finals last month courtesy of a deflected strike from Bernardo Silva six minutes from time.

    Man City, who boast a club-record 35-game unbeaten run in all competitions dating back to December 6, have every right to be optimistic of success against a Man United outfit whom they have already beaten twice in the Premier League this season (3-0 at Old Trafford and 3-1 at the Etihad). The last time they beat their rivals three times in the same campaign was back in 1969-70.

    Although the Citizens are regarded as firm favourites to win Saturday's final, Man United can never be written off entirely in a Manchester derby and there is arguably more riding on this fixture for the Red Devils and particularly manager Erik ten Hag, who has come under mounting pressure to keep his job following an underwhelming 2023-24 campaign.

    Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag applauds the fans after the match on May 15, 2024© Reuters

    Man United enter their 22nd FA Cup final, the most by any team in the competition's history, knowing they must beat Man City to qualify for next season's Europa League after their lowest-ever Premier League finish (eighth place) was confirmed last weekend, despite beating Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion in their final two games of the campaign.

    Four days after securing a 3-2 win over Newcastle at Old Trafford, Man United snatched victory away against a wasteful Brighton outfit on Sunday, with second-half strikes from Diogo Dalot and Rasmus Hojlund sealing a 2-0 success. However, victory was not enough for them to climb above the Magpies, who beat Brentford 4-2 in their final-day fixture to secure seventh spot on goal difference.

    Ten Hag has continuously highlighted the fact that his Man United side have been hampered with injuries and illness throughout this season, but that serves as no excuse for a number of below-par performances across all competitions. In the Premier League, the Red Devils have been condemned to a club-record 14 defeats and end the season with a -1 goal difference for the first time in 34 years. They also mustered their second-lowest points total (60) in a 38-game campaign.

    Last season's EFL Cup winners crashed out in the fourth round to Newcastle this time around, losing 3-0 on home soil, while the less said about their disastrous Champions League group-stage campaign - finishing rock bottom and below both Copenhagen and Galatasaray with just one win from six games - the better. The only competition that has brought an element of joy to Red Devils supporters this term is the FA Cup, but then again, they have not made it easy for themselves.

    Manchester United's Diogo Dalot celebrates scoring against Brighton & Hove Albion on May 19, 2024© Reuters

    After edging past lower-league duo Wigan Athletic and Newport County in rounds three and four, Man United claimed a slender 1-0 fifth-round win at Nottingham Forest thanks to an 89th-minute header from Casemiro, before coming out on top in an all-time FA Cup classic to beat rivals Liverpool 4-3 after extra time in the quarter-finals, showing a greater level on desire and hunger that has lacked in several games this season.

    Championship side Coventry City were then standing in their way at the semi-final stage, and although they were leading 3-0 heading into the final 20 minutes, the Red Devils nearly threw it all away as the Sky Blues remarkably forced extra time, where Victor Torp was denied a last-gasp winning goal by VAR. Man United eventually prevailed on penalties, but most of Ten Hag's players were embarrassed to celebrate after scraping into the final.

    Ten Hag has vowed to 'fight for the FA Cup' and end their gruelling season that has 'not been good enough' on a much-needed high, but securing silverware at the expense of Man City might not be enough to save his job ahead of an expected summer overhaul by minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

    Indeed, reports have grown stronger in the days leading up to kickoff that Ten Hag will be sacked regardless of the result, with speculation that the Red Devils have already opened talks with prospective replacements after being forced to accelerate their plans due to Chelsea targeting similar managerial possibilities.

    Man United enter Saturday's contest having lost six of their last seven meetings with Man City in all competitions, conceding 21 goals in the process, and they have lost each of their last three in a row. However, the Red Devils have come out on top in five of their last seven FA Cup encounters with their noisy neighbours, although both defeats during this run were at Wembley, including last season's final when a brace from Ilkay Gundogan - including a 12-second opener - condemned Ten Hag's men to a 2-1 defeat.

    Manchester City FA Cup form:

    Manchester City form (all competitions):

    Manchester United FA Cup form:

    Manchester United form (all competitions):

    Team News

    Manchester United's Harry Maguire on April 21, 2024© Reuters

    Man City's only injury absentee is goalkeeper Ederson who fractured his eye socket against Spurs just over a week ago. Stefan Ortega is set to deputise and would have been expected to start regardless of Ederson's availability, considering that he has played in all five of City's FA Cup ties this season en route to the final.

    Nathan Ake and John Stones will both be pushing for a recall in defence, but a back four of captain Kyle Walker, Manuel Akanji, Ruben Dias and Josko Gvardiol is set to remain intact, supported by midfield lynchpin Rodri who holds the record for the longest unbeaten run (74 games) in club football history.

    Guardiola will ponder whether to recall Mateo Kovacic to partner Rodri in the middle of the pitch, or to play again with an additional attacker as he did against West Ham in a game Jeremy Doku was handed a start on the left flank.

    Foden, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva are all expected to retain their places in the final third in behind central striker Erling Haaland, who is just one goal behind Ellis Simms and Sammie Szmodics (both six) in the race for the FA Cup Golden Boot.

    As for Man United, Ten Hag has confirmed that Harry Maguire (muscle) will miss the FA Cup final. Both Tyrell Malacia (knee) and Luke Shaw (muscle) are also in the treatment room, while Victor Lindelof (hamstring), Mason Mount (unspecified) and Anthony Martial (groin) have all taken part in training this week and could be fit to return to the matchday squad.

    Raphael Varane recovered from a muscle issue to feature as a second-half substitute last weekend and he will hope to feature in some capacity at Wembley in what will be his final game as a Man United player before he leaves the club in the summer.

    It remains to be seen whether the Frenchman will be fit to start, though, so Casemiro could continue at centre-back alongside either Jonny Evans or Lisandro Martinez, the latter recovered from injury to start against Brighton for the first time since February.

    After scoring as a substitute in Man United's last two league games, Hojlund will be pushing to start up front and could take the place of Scott McTominay, with Bruno Fernandes moving back into the number 10 role, while Marcus Rashford, who has been omitted from England's provisional squad for Euro 2024, will compete with Amad Diallo and Alejandro Garnacho for a start on either flank.

    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

    SM words green background

    We say: Manchester City 3-1 Manchester United

    Back-to-back league wins have provided Man United with a morale boost ahead of Saturday and the motivation is there for Ten Hag's men to beat their local rivals, win silverware and qualify for Europe, but can anyone judiciously back against the juggernaut that is Man City?

    The Citizens have already proven in recent weeks, against Spurs in the league and against Chelsea in the semi-final, that they do not have to be at their majestic best to come out on top when it matters.

    Guardiola's relentless squad is almost at full strength and is performing at a superior level to their Red Devil counterparts. They are rightly the favourites and should outscore their opponents en route to retaining the FA Cup.

    For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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