5 reasons why Manchester United could win against Manchester City in the FA Cup final

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5 reasons why Manchester United could win against Manchester City in the FA Cup final

Today, fierce adversaries Manchester United and Manchester City will face off in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium.

Having clinched the Premier League championship this season, Pep Guardiola’s team is now vying for a remarkable continental treble.

 Should they emerge victorious against Manchester United in today’s match, their path to this historic accomplishment would only be obstructed by the forthcoming Champions League clash with Inter Milan next weekend.

Manchester United holds the distinction of being the sole English team to have achieved the treble so far, and they are determined to maintain that record beyond this season. Their objective today is to disrupt City’s plans, but they are well aware of the challenge that lies ahead.

Manchester City has been a dominant force throughout the season, but Manchester United has also had a commendable performance, having already secured the Carabao Cup. 

Today presents them with an opportunity to secure a domestic cup double while simultaneously spoiling their rivals’ celebration. Despite City being widely considered the favorites, Manchester United possesses enough offensive strength to potentially cause an upset in what promises to be a thrilling FA Cup final.

Certainly! Here are five reasons why Manchester United could emerge victorious against Manchester City today:

 A Fred-Casemiro midfield could frustrate Manchester City

Indeed, Manchester City’s midfield boasts world-class players, and their intention to dominate the midfield battle against Manchester United is evident. However, if United manager Erik ten Hag decides to opt for a double midfield pivot consisting of Fred and Casemiro, it could introduce an intriguing dynamic to the game.

Fred and Casemiro have been in good form leading up to the match, and their tenacity and ability to disrupt opposing attacks could pose a challenge for Manchester City. The duo frequently partners in midfield for the Brazilian national team, which means they have a strong understanding of each other’s playing style.

If Ten Hag selects both Fred and Casemiro, with Bruno Fernandes assuming the role of the number 10, Manchester City may find it difficult to enjoy prolonged spells of possession in midfield. The combination of Fred and Casemiro’s defensive prowess and Fernandes’ creativity could effectively limit City’s time on the ball and disrupt their midfield rhythm. This tactical decision has the potential to level the playing field and make the midfield battle a more closely contested affair.

Manchester United have beaten City already this season

In the corresponding fixture at Old Trafford, Manchester United managed to avenge their previous 6-3 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium during the first half of the 2022-23 Premier League season. The Red Devils successfully held off City for a significant portion of the match and secured a comeback victory with goals from Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford. Notably, Manchester City only registered a single shot on target in that particular game.

Manager Erik ten Hag demonstrated his ability to curtail City’s creativity and neutralize their attacking threat in the final third. This defensive approach limited Erling Haaland, who had scored an impressive hat-trick in City’s dominant performance at the Etihad, to just two shots, neither of which were on target, during the 2-1 loss at Old Trafford.

If Manchester United can replicate their defensive success from that encounter in today’s FA Cup final, they will greatly enhance their chances of emerging triumphant. By restricting City’s attacking opportunities and limiting the influence of key players like Haaland, United can significantly disrupt their rivals’ offensive rhythm and position themselves favorably in the match.

 Manchester United are in slightly better form

Manchester United concluded the Premier League season on a high note, securing four consecutive victories in their last four matches. In contrast, Manchester City managed to collect only one point from their final two games.

City’s performance in their penultimate league match against Brighton & Hove Albion could be considered underwhelming, as they were arguably outplayed but managed to salvage a 1-1 draw. In their final game, they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Brentford.

However, it is important to acknowledge that City had already clinched the Premier League title with two matches remaining. As a result, they made significant changes to their lineup and rotated their squad during the last two outings. The focus may have shifted more towards squad management and giving playing time to fringe players rather than prioritizing results.

While City’s recent results may not reflect their usual dominance, the context of their secured league title and squad rotation should be taken into account when assessing their form heading into the FA Cup final.

Indeed, returning to peak performance level immediately after a period of squad rotation and relaxed matches can pose a challenge for any team, even at the elite level.

 This situation could potentially provide Manchester United with a slight advantage in today’s FA Cup final. The need for players to quickly regain their rhythm and synchronization can create an opportunity for United to capitalize on any potential lack of cohesion or sharpness in Manchester City’s play. 

This advantage might help United to start the game on a stronger footing and potentially influence the outcome of the match.

United’s pace on the counter could hurt City

Manchester United’s proficiency in counter-attacking football is widely recognized, positioning them among the top teams in Europe in this regard. Their frontline possesses significant pace, with players like Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Alejandro Garnacho expected to feature in the attack. The presence of such speedsters in United’s lineup presents a challenge for Manchester City if they intend to adopt a high defensive line.

Playing a high line against United’s rapid attackers requires cautiousness from City’s defense. The pace and ability of United’s forwards to exploit spaces and make quick runs in behind can be a potent weapon on the counter-attack. City will need to carefully consider their defensive positioning, ensuring they have the necessary cover and maintain a solid defensive structure to mitigate the threat posed by United’s speedsters.

By being mindful of United’s counter-attacking prowess and adjusting their defensive strategy accordingly, City can minimize the risk of being exposed and increase their chances of containing United’s attacking threat effectively.

Absolutely, Marcus Rashford’s proficiency in making well-timed runs behind the last defender is a key aspect of his game. Once he gets into open space, his exceptional speed makes it incredibly difficult for defenders to catch up with him. Bruno Fernandes, with his vision and ability to play incisive passes, is adept at releasing United’s attackers into these spaces, creating dangerous scoring opportunities. This dynamic duo of Rashford and Fernandes will undoubtedly keep Manchester City’s defenders on high alert throughout the game.

Moreover, Alejandro Garnacho and Jadon Sancho have both demonstrated their potential and impact in recent matches. Their individual skills and contributions can pose serious challenges to Manchester City’s defensive line. Garnacho and Sancho possess the ability to take on defenders, create chances, and provide additional goal-scoring threats alongside Rashford and Fernandes.

The combination of Rashford’s blistering pace, Fernandes’ playmaking abilities, and the emerging talents of Garnacho and Sancho has the potential to cause significant problems for City’s backline. Manchester United’s attacking quartet will keep City’s defenders occupied and create numerous opportunities to exploit any defensive vulnerabilities.

All the pressure on Manchester City and Pep Guardiola

Indeed, Manchester United has already achieved two of their primary objectives this season, securing qualification for the Champions League by finishing third in the Premier League and winning the Carabao Cup. These accomplishments can be considered a successful start to Erik ten Hag’s debut season in charge.

Losing the FA Cup final to Manchester City would not diminish the achievements already made by United this season. In contrast, Manchester City is heavily favored to win the treble, with expectations and pressure placed upon them to fulfill these high aspirations.

City has faced criticism in the past for their lack of success in the Champions League and their failure to secure a treble despite the considerable resources at their disposal. Winning the FA Cup would bring them one step closer to fulfilling this dream and could intensify the pressure they face in the process.

Pep Guardiola, known for his meticulous approach and tendency to make tactical adjustments in crucial matches, will also face scrutiny and pressure to dispel the notion that he overthinks in important games. The weight of expectations will be on him to lead his team to victory in the FA Cup final and prove his detractors wrong.

Ultimately, while both teams have their own motivations and pressures, Manchester City may carry a greater burden of expectation as they strive to achieve their coveted treble and overcome their previous disappointments.

5 reasons why Manchester United could win against Manchester City in the FA Cup final

5 reasons why Manchester United could win against Manchester City in the FA Cup final

5 reasons why Manchester United could win against Manchester City in the FA Cup final

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