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FA Cup final preview: Man City vs Man Utd

Man City vs Man Utd

Football

FA Cup final preview: Man City vs Man Utd

FA Cup final preview: Man City vs Man Utd

You probably don’t need us to tell you that it’s not been going great for Erik ten Hag.

The Manchester United boss has just overseen his club’s worse league finish since 1990, with the club ending the season eighth in the Premier League table. United also recorded a negative goal difference (-1) for the first time in 34 years.

Can Erik ten Hag save his job?

With one last chance to end the season on a positive note, can the Dutchman inspire Man Utd to victory in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday – and possibly save his job in the process?

Actually, even winning the Cup may not be enough to keep Ten Hag at Old Trafford. Back in 2016, another Dutch coach, Louis van Gaal won the trophy with United – and was sacked almost immediately anyway, with Jose Mourinho replacing him.

That United have form for ditching managers even after a success probably isn’t Ten Hag’s biggest problem, however.

Though a spate of injuries hasn’t helped, United’s results have been poor, and it’s not like there’s a silver lining to be found in performances either; though United have fine players capable of impressive individual moments, the team is often chaotic and disorganised.

Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola has just won a fourth straight league title with City. The side are unbeaten in the Premier League since losing to Aston Villa in December.

City are English football’s dominant force

Without ignoring the issue of City’s financial fair play charges, there’s no question that the blue half of Manchester are the dominant force in English football right now.

In encounters between these two sides, Guardiola’s team have won six of the last seven meetings in all competitions. That includes last year’s FA Cup final, Man City winning that game 2-1, with the now departed Ilkay Gundogan scoring a brace as Bruno Fernandes slotted home a penalty for United.

The betting suggests a similar result awaits on Saturday, with City huge favourites to lift the Cup at Wembley. Indeed, it’s hard to see anything but Guardiola’s side as comfortable winners. This could be a punishing result for United. Backing over 3.5 goals is a 27/25 shot.

Along similar lines, Phil Foden is 8/1 to score at least two goals; he scored a brace when these sides met in March, and hit a hat-trick against United in October 2022. He also scored twice against West Ham in City’s last league match of the season. Foden may be in the mood for more this week.

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