FA Cup Final Preview – Another Manchester Derby at Wembley

Football Wednesday May 22, 2024 By: Duncan Hughes

The weekend saw the end of a thrilling Premier League campaign with a title decider on the final day. Manchester City won their fourth consecutive title, snatching the trophy from Arsenal’s grasp by two points. For 18 of the Premier League clubs that is the season complete as far as they are concerned, however, for the two Manchester clubs there is still silverware to play for.

A repeat of last year’s final, Wembley will host another Manchester derby as Erik Ten Hag’s Manchester United will try to prevent Manchester City from winning a second consecutive FA Cup over them. City are targeting yet another trophy at Wembley while a defeat for United would put the lid on a very mediocre season and unveil further questions about Ten Hag’s future as head coach.

An 8th place finish in the league, knocked out in, what seemed, a comfortable Champions League group and no European football on the cards for next year, unless they win the FA Cup; it has been bleak for the Red Devils. Questions over Ten Hag’s tenure at the club have been raised, however, two wins to complete the season over Newcastle and Brighton may provide momentum for Ten Hag to redeem himself under the Wembley Arch.

City, on the other hand, have been ruthless once again this season. Narrowly knocked out of the Champions League on penalties to Real Madrid, they are unbeaten (excluding penalties) since December helping them storm to their eighth Premier League title; their sixth in seven years. At the moment they seem unstoppable, with 9 Premier League wins on the bounce and 20 goals in their last six games, any team will fear Guardiola’s side at the moment. Can they also claim their eighth FA Cup?

The 2023 FA Cup final was also a Manchester Derby and one in which City came out on top. Ilkay Gundogan opened the scoring in just 12 seconds as City took an early lead, before Bruno Fernandes levelled the scoring from the penalty spot just after the first half hour.

However, it was Gundogan again who ultimately grabbed the winner just after half-time as City were 2-1 winners. Gundogan’s opening goal was the fastest goal in FA Cup final history, surpassing Louis Saha’s record goal by 13 seconds from 2009.

Treble winners last year, City will be determined to add to their Premier League trophy after the disappointment of not being able to defend their Champions League title. The Blue side of Manchester will go into this one as strong favourites. With that said, City will need to be on their A game with the added pressure of a derby and a final, anything is possible as Ten Hag’s men will be keen to rain on City’s parade.

So who do you think will win this famous fixture and add another piece of silverware to their illustrious collection? An underdog win for United, or do Manchester City win yet another major trophy? It will certainly be a thrilling spectacle and has the possibility of a classic Wembley final.

Want to watch it live from the best seats in the house? Check out Engage’s hospitality offers to watch the FA Cup finale!

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