Preview: Rashford seeking to lead United to glory over City? Garnacho to start? Casemiro, Eriksen & Fernandes to inspire United?

Erik ten Hag will be up for proving himself against Pep Guardiola at Wembley

Manchester City -v- Manchester United

Emirates FA Cup

Wembley Stadium, London

Saturday 3 June 2023, KO 15:00 BST

Manchester United take on Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on Saturday afternoon in a Manchester derby – the first ever – to contest the Emirates FA Cup. It is going to be a massive match for United, who have been the underdogs against City this season – especially after the 6-3 defeat earlier in the season. However, United did manage to get one over City, beating them 2-1 in the second derby of the season – which was a good result.

City are on a treble this season, which United achieved in the 1998/99 season – the first English club to ever achieve that feat lifting the Premier League, FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League. City lifted the Premier League title last month by knocking Arsenal off the top and pushing to get the job done. United ended up finishing third in the Premier League with a game to spare, earning UEFA Champions League football next season – after a season away.

Erik ten Hag has done well this season, ensuring that United have started to ensure they are not defeated many times at home, needing to better his sides away form next season. United lost two matches at Old Trafford the season – once in the Premier League and once in the UEFA Europa League. Nine matches were lost away from home – eight in the Premier League and one in the UEFA Europa League. It has not been a bad season to be fair.

Manchester United – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Fulham 2-1 W, Chelsea 4-1 W, Bournemouth 1-0 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 W, West Ham United 1-0 L, Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0 L

Goals: 30 – Marcus Rashford, 13 – Bruno Fernandes, 9 – Anthony Martial, 8 – Antony, 7 – Casemiro, Jadon Sancho, 6 – Fred, 5 – Alejandro Garnacho, Own Goal, 3 – Scott McTominay, Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcel Sabitzer, 2 – Diogo Dalot, Christian Eriksen, Wout Weghorst, 1 – Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw

Assists: 13 – Bruno Fernandes, 10 – Christian Eriksen, 9 – Marcus Rashford, 6 – Casemiro, Fred, Luke Shaw, 4 – Alejandro Garnacho, 3 – Anthony Martial, Antony, Jadon Sancho, Wout Weghorst,2 – Diogo Dalot, Anthony Elanga, Cristiano Ronaldo,1 – Scott McTominay, Facundo Pellistri, Marcel Sabitzer, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Manchester City – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Brentford 1-0 L, Brighton and Hove Albion 1-1 D, Chelsea 1-0 W, Real Madrid 4-0 W, Everton 3-0 W, Real Madrid 1-1 D

Goals: 52 – Erling Haaland, 17 – Julián Álvarez, 15 – Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, 10 – Kevin De Bruyne, 9 – Ilkay Gündogan, 7 – Bernardo Silva, 5 – Jack Grealish, 3 – Nathan Aké, Rodri, John Stones, 2 – João Cancelo, 1 – Manuel Akanji, Rúben Dias, Rico Lewis, Cole Palmer

Assists: 26 – Kevin De Bruyne, 13 – Riyad Mahrez, 11 – Jack Grealish, 9 – Erling Haaland, 7 – Phil Foden, Rodri, 6 – Ilkay Gündogan, Bernardo Silva, 4 – Julián Álvarez, João Cancelo, 3 – John Stones, 1 – Manuel Akanji, Ederson, Sergio Gómez, Cole Palmer, Kyle Walker

Previous Meetings & Connections

United and City have met 189 times in the they history of both clubs. United have win 78 times, drawing 53 times with City winning 58 times. United and City have met nine times in the FA Cup, winning six times and losing three times. United have scored 18 goals, conceded 11 goals and kept two clean sheets in those matches. United will need to be at the best of their game ahead of this match though and goal will need to be scored to win.

The last time United and City met in the FA Cup was back in 2012 in the third round of the competition. United won that match 3-2 with United taking a 3-0 lead in the first half of the match with Wayne Rooney getting a brace and Danny Welbeck scoring the other goal. However, Aleksandar Kolarov got City back into the game three minutes into the second half with Sergio Agüero scoring 17 minutes later to put City back into the match. It was a memorable one.

Billy Meredith, Denis Law, Brian Kidd, Terry Cooke, Peter Schmeichel, Andrew Cole, Carlos Tevez, Owen Hargreaves, Abbie McManus, Jane Ross, Aoife Mannion, Charlie McNeill (academy) and Jadon Sancho have played for both teams in Manchester. Law, Kidd, Schmeichel, Cole and Tevez are the only players on this list to have lifted the European Cup/UEFA Champions League with City never having achieved that feat in their short history.

Team News

Lisandro Martinez (foot), Donny van de Beek (knee), Marcel Sabitzer (knee) and Anthony Martial (hamstring) have all been ruled out of the Emirates FA Cup final due to injury on Saturday afternoon. Antony (ankle/foot) missed the final Premier League match of the season after suffering an injury against Chelsea a week ago and he has a 50% chance of being available for United this weekend, which is a must to have attacking talent involved in the squad.

This could be an emotional match for some of United’s players who may not have futures at the club heading into the summer with Harry Maguire, Fred, Scott McTominay rumoured to be heading for the exit, not to mention the end of loan spells for Wout Weghorst and Marcel Sabitzer, who is not going to feature for United again. It could be a fitting end for these players should United do the business and beat City, which is something they have already done this season.

City have no major injuries at this time with no players ruled out of the match. However, there are som fitness issues for Pep Guardiola’s side. Jack Grealish has a 75% chance of facing United at Wembley in the Manchester derby FA Cup final. Manuel Akanji, Ruben Dias and Kevin De Bruyne all have 50% chances of being available for the clash with all four players lacking fitness after some minor niggles – maybe there could be some problems for City?

Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Lindelof, Shaw;

Casemiro, Eriksen;

Sancho, Fernandes, Garnacho;


Predicted Manchester City Starting XI – 3-2-4-1


Walker, Dias, Ake;

Stones, Rodri;

Bernardo, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Grealish;


Match Prediction

This is going to be the toughest match of the season for United. They know what City can do if they are at their destructive best but United also know what they can do – they did beat City 2-1 earlier this year in the second Manchester derby of the season – so anything is possible. This has the magic of being at Wembley in the Emirates FA Cup final in a traditional 3pm kick off – so it is the magic of English football right there – none of this moving football for TV business.

United have to find the ability to score goals and with Marcus Rashford already scoring his 30th goal this season, scoring more will be the plan for United. The likes of Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes and Alejandro Garnacho could really help him get in and score for United in the biggest match of the season. Christian Eriksen and Casemiro are just as important in front of goal two with both players scoring this season – although their assists are both effective too.

United have a lot to gain from beating City in this match. Just to win the Emirates FA Cup for the 13th time would be great but also stopping City from matching their treble-winning season from 1998/99 has got to be the reason to go and show Pep Guardiola’s side that they may be good but they are not unbeatable. Whatever happens in this match, United have had a positive season winning the Carabao Cup and earning UEFA Champions League football once again.

Manchester City 1-2 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

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About editor 2163 Articles
I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.