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Manchester United vs. Manchester City: FA Cup final players to watch as rivals meet at Wembley Stadium

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On Saturday, Wembley will be the host of a Manchester Derby with high stakes as Manchester United and Manchester City meet in the FA Cup final. For Manchester City, a chance at the double is on the line after securing the Premier League title while for Manchester United, winning this match is their only shot at European soccer next season. The Red Devils finished eighth in the Premier League under Erik ten Hag but a victory would send them to the Europa League, taking Chelsea’s spot and sending the Blues to the Europa Conference League.

While the match is taking place between teams who finished the Premier League season separated by 31 points, Manchester United’s FA Cup run is something that shows that league form doesn’t always matter. United needed extra time and a winner in the 121st minute of play to get past Liverpool in the quarterfinals while following it up with a penalty shootout win over Coventry City after blowing a 3-0 lead. United’s run has been a drama-filled one while City have advanced with relative ease scoring eight goals in the last two rounds while only conceding two.

Pep Guardiola’s machine has been in full force this season but they’ve already been knocked out of two cups showing that nothing can be taken for granted. Despite enjoying the Premier League title, Guardiola vowed to have his team locked in for this match.

“What I want is for my players is to enjoy two or three days and then we have two days to prepare the final but right now I don’t know what exactly the motivation is to do it [next season] because it’s difficult to find it when everything is done,” Guardiola said to Sky Sports. “But knowing the players and myself I know that when we are there we will say why should we not win today? Why should we not work as much as possible to do what we have to do? And I know we are going to do it.”

How to watch and odds

  • Date: Saturday, May 25 | Time: 10 a.m. ET
  • Location: Wembley Stadium — London
  • TV: None  | Live stream: ESPN+
  • Odds: Manchester City -310; Draw +430; Manchester United +750

Players to watch

Phil Foden: After being named the Premier League Player of the Season and also scoring a brace to help secure the title, Foden has been critical to Manchester City this season and his role is only increasing. A big game player at only 23, Foden scored 27 goals and assisted 11 more in all competitions so far this season. With two goals in FA Cup play, he’ll be looked upon again for Manchester City against their rivals. Foden has already scored three goals against United this season and one more could be enough to win yet another trophy during his illustrious career. 

Bruno Fernandes: While the season has been a roller coaster for Manchester United Fernandes has still been effective with 15 goals and 12 assists. Three goals and two assists have come in FA Cup play where the United captain has had to push his team forward while all the positions around him have rotated. With Rasmus Hojlund back in contention for a starting position, Fernandes will have an outlet to help take pressure off of him but when a big play needs to be made, United will still look in his direction. 

Prediction

While it will be a close game, the sting of missing out on winning consecutive Champions League titles will drive Manchester City to do everything that they can to defeat their rivals and lift the FA Cup. Score: Manchester City 2, Manchester United 1

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