FA Cup Final: Manchester City v Manchester United Preview

By Bluemoon Staff, Mon 13 May 2024 10:22

FA Cup Final: Manchester City v Manchester United Preview 

The FA Cup is England’s longest-running football tournament, celebrating its 143rd anniversary with a second-consecutive Manchester derby. Both Manchester City and United reach Wembley again as the Red Devils look to put in a better display than their 2-1 defeat to Pep Guardiola’s side last year, a result that gave the Citizens the confidence to beat Inter Milan in the Champions League final a week later and win the treble. 

This year the road to Wembley has been different for both, with City less dominant domestically, with the Premier League title race looking to go to the final day of the season after more competition from Arsenal and Liverpool, and United suffering a disastrous league campaign in which they have suffered 13 defeats, their worst in history.

Regardless of form and previous results, a big day out at Wembley can make or break a team’s season and the form guide is essentially tossed out of the window once Abide With Me has finished and the referee kicks the game off. Still, there is plenty to predict ahead of this all Manchester clash so let’s take a look at the 2024 FA Cup final.

Last year’s result

The previous final between the two sides made history as not only was it the first-ever Manchester Derby to be played in the FA Cup final, but City captain Ilkay Gundogan fired his side to an early lead with the fastest goal ever scored in the final. City controlled the majority of possession but Bruno Fernandes managed to fire his side back into the game, as Erik ten Hag looked to win the domestic double after beating Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup earlier in the season.

United’s pressure was short-lived and while they went into the interval level it was City who came out for the second period firing on all cylinders and were swiftly rewarded in the 50th minute when Gundogan grabbed a brace and put his side 2-1 up. Despite some half chances from United, it was the German that went on to lift the trophy. After moving on to Barcelona the onus will now be on Kyle Walker to try and get his side in the same position this time around.

Route to the final

Manchester City had a relatively challenging road to Wembley compared to their previous outings in the competition, playing five Premier League teams. They hammered Luton Town away which is no easy feat after beating Tottenham Hotspur in North London. Then came Newcastle United and Chelsea who both fell before setting up a date with United.

Ten Hag’s team made hard work of Championship outfit Coventry City, requiring penalties to progress in their semi-final. Before that, they beat Liverpool in extra time in a 4-3 classic as well as lower league Newport County and Wigan Athletic.


Manchester City have been relatively unchanged since the return of top scorer Erling Haaland, and many UK bookmakers' free bet offers will be for the Norwegian to find the net at Wembley. Supporting the Golden Boot winner is the in-form Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne, who has suffered his own injury issues this season but looks to be backfiring on all cylinders. Ederson is also back in goal after a spell on the sidelines.

This has been a season of regret for United as Ten Hag has struggled in his sophomore year in England. Injuries to his back four have meant players being played out of position, and you only need to look at Casemiro’s performances at centre back to see why his side are conceding so many goals.

“For over 10 years I am managing, I never had this experience,” Ten Hag said speaking to the Independent.

“So huge, so many injury issues, so I trust all my experience, it can happen once in 10 years. Hopefully now I have to wait another 10 to have so many injuries to deal with.”

“That is one of the issues in constructing the squad where we have to improve, to do things better, to construct a squad where we have more depth.”


Overall, it’s hard to look past City winning back-to-back FA Cup titles. United simply have too many injuries and while they want to right the wrongs of last term, their head to head form against Guardiola has been miserable, suffering two defeats already this season, and we think that will continue at Wembley with more misery inflicted before Ten Hag is sacked.