Manchester City vs Manchester United: Preview and Prediction

unnamed   2024 05 24T180835.251
Manchester City won their 4th league title in a row on Sunday

After winning the unprecedented consecutive fourth title in four years, Manchester City look to finish the season with another trophy when they take on arch-rival, Manchester United in the Final of the 2024 FA Cup on Saturday in Wembley Stadium.

Both teams meet each other in the final for the second year running after Manchester City comfortably defeated United 2-1 in the FA Cup Final last year with the help of Ilkay Gundogan’s brace.

Even though Gundogan is not with Pep Guardiola’s team anymore, City’s form remains unaffected. They steamrolled West Ham last Sunday to win the league and are favorites to complete the domestic double.

But their rivals are struggling. Even though United got their act together last week, the season has been a struggle – their worst in ages as there is a chance of them missing the European competition for the first time in 2014.

Recently, Erik ten Hag talked about the possibility of missing Europe,

“It is very damaging. That is the situation we are in, but still, we can get there so we have the opportunities to we have to take them and fight, even when the problems are massive, everyone knows this, especially positions and lines.”

After finishing 8th in the league, the final against last year’s Treble winners will be one of the biggest challenges for Ten Hag, especially as the United manager’s future hangs in the balance.

Current Form

Manchester City have been in the form of their life since December suffering their only defeat in the penalty shootout against Real Madrid in the Champions League. City finished the league season with a 23-game unbeaten run including 19 victories after suffering a defeat at Villa Park last year in December.

Pep Guardiola’s side continued their form in the FA Cup by scoring 15 goals in 5 games and conceded just two, and with United’s defence leaking goals like the Old Trafford roof, City would fancy a few more in the final.

It’s completely a different story for United, though. After producing the best game of the tournament against Liverpool in the Quarter-final of the competition, United almost lost the semi-final to the Championship side, Coventry.

Their league form was even worse where the Red Devils lost 14 games, their most in the Premier League history and let in 84 goals in all competitions, their most since the 1970-71 season. Erik Ten Hag’s team was the only side with a negative goal difference from the league’s Top 8.

Head to Head Record

The cross-town rivalry has a rich history of 192 matches with Manchester United winning 78 of those fixtures while the Cityzens have emerged victorious on 61 occasions with 53 matches ending in a draw.

Since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure, Manchester City have dominated United. In 27 games from all competitions since 2013, City emerged victorious 15 times including twice in the league this season with United winning 9.

In FA Cup history, United just edges City. Out of their 10 meetings, United won 6 times, and their last win over the rivals was 12 years ago when Sir Alex was still around.

But City also experienced one of their fondest victories in the competition with Alex Ferguson in the dugout. With the help of Yaya Toure’s goal, City knocked United out of the FA Cup in the Semi-final of 2011.

Team News

Lisandro Martinez’s return is a huge boost for United while Rashford is also fit

Albeit a difficult season, there is some relief to United as some of their injured players returned in the past few weeks. But how they fare remains to be seen.

Lisandro Martinez, arguably United’s best defender, made his first appearance in over a month and is likely to start in the final. United’s best player of the last season, Marcus Rashford, also got a few minutes under his belt after his three-week absence.

On the other hand, City’s only worry is Ederson’s absence, but they will not be too concerned about it considering Ortega’s fit and would seamlessly replace the Brazilan.

Predicted Starting XIs

Manchester City (4-1-4-1): Stefan Ortega; Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, Manuel Akanji, Josko Gvardiol; Rodri; Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Jeremy Doku; Erling Haaland

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): Andre Onana; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez, Diogo Dalot; Sofyan Amrabat, Kobbie Mainoo; Amad Diallo, Bruno Fernandes, Alejandro Garnacho; Rasmus Hojlund 


Considering their form and ruthlessness on big occasions, it’s hard to look beyond a comfortable victory for Pep Guardiola’s side. Even with Ten Hag’s team performing at their best, it will be a tough game for the Red side of Manchester.