The 142nd FA Cup final will see a Manchester derby take centre stage for the first time beneath the famous arch of Wembley Stadium as treble-chasing Manchester City lock horns with bitter rivals and EFL Cup winners Manchester United on Saturday afternoon.
While the Citizens are seeking to lift England’s oldest trophy for the seventh time in their history, the Red Devils are hoping to get their hands on the prestigious prize for a 13th time.
After beginning the 2022-23 campaign with harrowing losses to Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford back in August, few would have envisaged Man United bouncing back in such impressive fashion, and after guaranteeing a top-four finish, Erik ten Hag is seeking to steer the club to their first-ever domestic cup double.
The Dutchman ended United’s six-year trophy drought by guiding his team to EFL Cup glory at the end of February, beating Newcastle United 2-0 at Wembley, and the Red Devils will certainly take great pleasure in halting Man City’s pursuit of the treble by winning the FA Cup on Saturday.
Man United are competing in their first FA Cup final for five years after successfully navigating their way past Everton, Reading, West Ham United, Fulham and Brighton, winning their first four ties by a 3-1 scoreline before eliminating the Seagulls in a nerve-racking penalty shootout following a goalless semi-final draw after 120 minutes.
The Red Devils last had their hands on the FA Cup in 2015-16 when they required extra time and a late Jesse Lingard winner to beat Crystal Palace 2-1, two years before losing 1-0 to Chelsea in their most recent final in the competition.
Anthony Martial has been ruled out with a hamstring injury and is joined in the treatment room by Lisandro Martinez (foot), Marcel Sabitzer, Donny van de Beek (both knee) and Tom Heaton (ankle).
However, Antony has a “good opportunity” to recover in time for the final according to Ten Hag, despite being stretchered off in tears with an ankle problem in the win over Chelsea; the Brazilian is unlikely to be thrown straight back into the first XI, though, so Alejandro Garnacho and former Man City youngster Jadon Sancho will most likely occupy the flanks.
Left-back Luke Shaw is fit to return to the starting lineup after recovering from a minor back issue, while Raphael Varane is set to replace captain Harry Maguire and partner Victor Lindelof in central defense.
Top scorer Marcus Rashford and midfield lynchpin Casemiro, who were both on the scoresheet in United’s last Wembley outing in the EFL Cup final, are both poised to start, with the former expected to begin as a central striker and the latter set to line up alongside Bruno Fernandes and either Christian Eriksen or Fred in the middle of the pitch.
FA Cup schedule
It’s a 3:00 PM kickoff in the UK, which means 10:00 AM on the east coast of the U.S.
Those in the UK will need BBC One or ITV 1 to watch the match on tv. Those Stateside can only watch on ESPN+.
I’m Canada you’ll need some version of Sportsnet to tune in either on tv or streaming.
Everyone else, head on over to LiveSoccerTV to find your viewing options.
Manchester United possible starting lineup: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Lindelof, Shaw; Casemiro, Fred; Sancho, Eriksen, Fernandes; Rashford