For the first time in the competition’s long and storied history, the FA Cup final will double up as a Manchester Derby at Wembley Stadium. Premier League (PL) champions
Manchester City arrive as pre-match favourites, as they look to secure the second trophy of the prospective PL, FA Cup and Champions League treble – a feat that only opponents and arch-rivals Manchester United have achieved in English football history!
While Pep Guardiola’s men breezed their way to a first FA Cup final in four seasons, firing in 17 goals without reply in their five previous ties this term, the Spaniard has urged his squad to “disconnect” in the build-up to such a huge clash in the hope they can refocus after failing to win their final two league clashes of the season (D1, L1). City have a 100% win rate in domestic finals under Guardiola though, so they’ll certainly be confident of taking another huge step in their chase for immortality.
Man Utd would love nothing more than to stop their local rivals from matching their accomplishments, but besides bragging rights it would also secure them a second trophy of the season having already lifted the Carabao Cup.
The Red Devils have never secured both domestic cups in the same season, but they travel to Wembley with momentum behind them after a run of four consecutive victories ensured they finished the PL season in the top-three for the third time in four seasons.
Manager Erik ten Hag stoked the fire with an impassioned post-match speech after beating Fulham 2-1 on the PL’s final day, but the Dutchman insists this final is “not about stopping Man City, it’s about winning the FA Cup”.
Only Arsenal (14) have done so more often than United (12), but just one of those successes has arrived in the last 19 years, so United’s Dutch boss will be keen to reignite the club’s love affair with this famous competition.
Players to watch: Instrumental to City’s charge to the treble has been goalscoring machine Erling Haaland, with three of his 52 strikes this term arriving in a 6-3 H2H win at the Etihad Stadium. With United expected to concede possession for large periods, all-action midfielder Fred could keep his place after assisting a goal in United’s latest win over Fulham.
Hot stat: Just one of the last 15 H2H meetings ended level after 90 minutes (City: W8, L6).
Credit to live score