The two Manchester clubs meet in a titanic clash this Saturday as Manchester City and Manchester United face-off in the FA Cup final.
Both clubs are chasing their second piece of silverware of the season, with City wrapping up the Premier League title and United securing the League Cup back in February.
Check out our preview of this HUGE match below.
Trying For The Treble
Manchester City are looking to become only the second team since Manchester United in 1999 to achieve the famous treble.
With the Premier League secured, two more victories stand between themselves and history.
For United, this will act as an extra incentive to stop their noisy neighbours in their tracks.
The Reds have already beaten City this season, a 2-1 home win thanks to goals from Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford, so United will feel they’re in with a shout. But Pep Guardiola’s relentless Blues will be heavy favourites on the day.
An emphatic 6-3 victory for City back when the two met in October emphasises the gap in quality between the two city rivals. Although United have narrowed the gulf over the last year, especially since Erik ten Hag took the reins.
Last season, they finished sixth and 35 points behind champions City, whereas this season, they’ve finished third and 14 points behind. A significant improvement and proof that the Reds are trending in the right direction.
Both teams could have key men absent for the big clash.
Manchester City winger Jack Grealish and midfield talisman Kevin De Bruyne are both in a race to be fit for the final. Both men were absent for their final-day defeat at the hands of Brentford, along with defensive heavyweight Rúben Dias.
None are guaranteed to be fit for the clash at Wembley, which would be a significant blow.
Meanwhile, Manchester United will certainly be without their tenacious Argentinian centre-half Lisandro Martínez, who suffered a season-ending foot injury back in April.
Also doubtful is Brazilian winger Antony, who was stretchered off against Chelsea midweek, and loan signing Marcel Sabitzer who is struggling with a knee problem.
This game could hinge on the impact of the in-form forwards. Both Erling Haaland and Marcus Rashford enjoyed stellar campaigns.
Haaland’s impact at City has been monumental, breaking the goals record for a single Premier League season with 36. In all competitions, he’s notched a whopping 52 goals.
Rashford has bagged 30 goals across all competitions this season, his best in front of goal by a long stretch, including a goal in his last final at Wembley against Newcastle in the League Cup.
City’s strength in-depth will be a huge advantage, with strong options to bring off the bench, something United have struggled to do all season. Although young Argentine Alejandro Garnacho never fails to have an impact with his fearless attitude. His introduction helped United beat City earlier in the season.
Muting City’s midfield will be key. Casemiro and Christian Eriksen will have their hands full keeping the likes of De Bruyne, İlkay Gündoğan, Bernardo Silva and Rodri quiet. If they don’t, City will be dominant.
We think City will be just too good for United but won’t run away with it. 2-1 to the Blue half of Manchester is our prediction.
Follow us on JDFootball over on the socials as we build up to the game and check out the JD Football blog page for loads more!
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JD Football | November 21, 2023