Here are the key points you need to know ahead of Saturday’s F.A. Cup final derby clash against Manchester City:
(1) Manchester United face neighbourhood rivals Manchester City in a first-ever major final. While United will look to add the F.A. Cup to their silverware tally this season after clinching the League Cup, Man City will aim to win the treble after reaching the Champions League finals and winning the Premier League for a record 5-times in six seasons.
(2) After confirming their third-place finish in the league standings, Manchester United are on a winning run of four consecutive games and Erik Ten Hag will hope to give something to their supporters to celebrate after a rejuvenating season. It will be a tough fixture for The Reds as City have again shown their formidable structure this season but in Ten Hag’s words “Era’s come to an end”.
(3) The Red Devils approach this match on the back of a 2-1 win against Fulham where they had to orchestrate a comeback to secure the win that bought them the third-place finish. Kenny Tete opened the scoring for The Cottagers but Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes were clinical enough to score two and grab the three points. The win comes after the 4-1 drubbing of out-of-sorts Chelsea where Casemiro, Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford were on the scoresheet to break the ‘draw curse’ the fixture has seen in recent seasons.
(4) An official club statement confirmed the absence of Anthony Martial for Saturday’s showdown at the Wembley Stadium.
(5) Diogo Dalot recently committed his long-term future with Manchester United and signed a contract until 2028. The right-back should make the starting line-up on Saturday. As for the other full-back position, Luke Shaw remained an unused substitute against Fulham after getting subbed off early in the Chelsea game. However, his presence on the squad list is a positive sign and he may start the game against City.
(6) Marcus Rashford returned to starting line-up against The Cottagers after a brief spell out with injury. He is now fully fit and will be ready to make his mark in the F.A. Cup final. Donny van de Beek, Marce Sabitzer and Lisandro Martinez remain sidelined for the fixture.
(7) After bagging the Premier League title, Pep Guardiola has the treble on sight and winning the F.A. Cup would make it more possible as they await Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League Final.
(8) Man City approach this match on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Brentford as The Bees were the only team to do the double over the Champions this season. Several key players were rested to ensure a fully fit team was available for the next two finals but The Blues will look to not let any more slip-ups. City reached the F.A. Cup final after thrashing Sheffield United 3-0 in the semi-finals when Riyad Mahrez notched up a hattrick to send his side fighting for the treble.
(9) Jack Grealish and Ruben Dias have missed training over the past seven days and therefore remain a doubt for the F.A. Cup final.
(10) Kevin De Bruyne and Manuel Akanji are rumoured to have picked up recent injuries and that may be the reason which ruled them out of the 1-0 defeat against Brentford. However, the changes might be a tactical one.
(11) While both sides have won over each other this season, this third showdown will be the final for the campaign and with silverware at stake, it is surely going to be an incredible one.