FA Cup Final: Who will triumph in a repeat of last year’s Manchester derby?

Manchester City v Manchester United (Sat, 10pm)

A REPEAT of last year’s final could well be Erik Ten Hag’s final game in charge of the Old Trafford outfit.

After a disappointing season that saw United suffer an early exit from Europe and finish eighth in the table, rumours have been swirling around the Dutchman’s future. Some reports even suggest that the decision to axe the former Ajax coach has been made regardless of the outcome of the final.

With Manchester City in imperious form having sealed their fourth consecutive Premier League title last weekend, some pundits are predicting this final to be a one-sided affair. But Pep Guardiola will be mindful of the threat posed by some of United’s players who are capable of moments of individual brilliance that could turn the game on its head, as they visibly demonstrated in the scintillating defeat of Liverpool at the quarter-final stage.

None more so than Marcus Rashford who was dropped from England’s provincial Euro 2024 squad. A match-winning performance tonight could well change Gareth Southgate’s mind and the forward has the pace to trouble Kyle Walker. That duel could turn out to be decisive alongside the one United talisman Bruno Fernandes will face against midfield dynamo Rodri.

The Spanish international, alongside teammate Phil Foden, have been standout performers for City this term and could well be the difference between the two sides.

Fans tuning in should savour this final of the world’s oldest knockout competition, as it is very likely to be the last in its current format. For starters, next season, the jeopardy of a replay has been removed. It will also lose its place as the domestic season’s showcase finale as league commitments are given precedence.

Enjoy! – May 25, 2024



Main photo credit: The FA of England

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