Man City vs United Predicted XI: Guardiola Confirms Fitness Boost while Shaw and Varane Set to Return for FA Cup Final

By Xorkpe Sosu 7 Min Read

The historic clash between Manchester City and Manchester United awaits in the first-ever major Derby final, as both teams have their sights set on prestigious achievements.

While The Red Devils strive for the Double, the Cityzens are determined to secure an impressive Treble.

This season’s FA Cup final will mark the first Manchester derby in the competition’s illustrious 152-year history.

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The team that emerges victorious on Saturday will have an even greater reason to celebrate, adding a unique chapter to their footballing legacy.

Manchester City has showcased their attacking prowess throughout the tournament, emerging as the highest scorers with 17 goals from the first round onwards. 

Notably, City has yet to concede a single goal in this season’s FA Cup.

As anticipation builds for this historic Manchester derby final, fans are eagerly awaiting a thrilling contest that promises to be filled with exceptional football and unforgettable moments.

Following their triumphant Premier League title win, Manchester City finds themselves on the verge of securing the league and FA Cup double for the second time in their history, replicating their achievement from the 2018-19 season.

Manchester United’s path to the FA Cup final has been marked by 3-1 victories in each round, progressing to the final after a penalty shootout triumph over Brighton following a goalless draw.

Notably, no team has ever been involved in shootouts in both the semi-final and final within the same FA Cup campaign.

Building on their earlier League Cup victory against Newcastle this season, Manchester United aims to secure both major domestic cup competitions in a single season for the first time.

This will be Manchester City’s 12th FA Cup final, having clinched victory six times and suffered five defeats in their previous 11 appearances.

Interestingly, their recent final outcomes have alternated between wins and losses, with their most recent triumph being a resounding 6-0 victory against Watford in 2019.

Man City vs United Predicted XI: Guardiola Confirms Fitness Boost while Shaw and Varane Set to Return for FA Cup Final
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Premier League – Manchester United v Manchester City – Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain – January 14, 2023 Manchester United’s Antony in action with Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva REUTERS/Phil Noble.

Manchester United, on the other hand, will compete in their 21st FA Cup final, sharing the record for most appearances with Arsenal.

United has emerged victorious on 12 occasions but has also endured eight final defeats, sharing the record for most final losses with Chelsea and Everton.

The upcoming final will mark the third meeting between Manchester City and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium.

The previous encounters occurred in 2011, with City securing a 1-0 victory in an FA Cup semi-final tie, while United emerged triumphant with a 3-2 win in the Community Shield.

As anticipation builds for this epic clash, both teams will be driven by a burning desire to etch their names in FA Cup history and add another illustrious chapter to their storied rivalry.

Both teams will be keen to manage their squads effectively and make the necessary adjustments to ensure a competitive and captivating showdown in the final.

Man City Quartet Set to Return for the Final, Stefan Ortega to Start in Goal

Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish, Ruben Dias, and Manuel Akanji missed the recent defeat against Brentford due to minor injuries or fitness concerns.

However, Pep Guardiola has confirmed that all four players have participated in training this week and are “more or less fine” to feature in the final on Saturday.

In goal, Stefan Ortega, who has impressively kept five clean sheets in as many FA Cup games this season, will start ahead of the first-choice goalkeeper Ederson.

Nathan Ake, who made his return from a hamstring injury during the Brentford match, could retain his place on the left side of the defense.

Meanwhile, John Stones is expected to return and take up his hybrid midfield role alongside Rodri.

Captain Ilkay Gundogan is set to make his comeback in the center of midfield.

The right-wing position is likely to be contested by Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden, and semi-final hero Riyad Mahrez.

Man City vs United Predicted XI: Guardiola Confirms Fitness Boost while Shaw and Varane Set to Return for FA Cup Final

The prolific Erling Braut Haaland, with an astonishing tally of 52 goals in all competitions, will lead the line and aim to add to his impressive goal-scoring record.

Regarding Manchester United, Antony is deemed “unlikely” to feature in the final due to a lack of progress in his recovery from an ankle injury. Anthony Martial is ruled out with a hamstring problem, and Lisandro Martinez, Marcel Sabitzer, Donny van de Beek, and Tom Heaton are also sidelined with respective injuries.

With Antony unavailable, Alejandro Garnacho and Jadon Sancho, a former Manchester City player, are expected to occupy the flanks, while Marcus Rashford is set to lead the line in place of Martial.

In midfield, Casemiro, who scored in United’s previous Wembley outing during the EFL Cup final along with Rashford, is likely to be joined by Bruno Fernandes and either Christian Eriksen or Fred in the middle of the pitch.

Luke Shaw, having recovered from a minor back issue, is fit to return as the starting left-back. Raphael Varane is poised to partner Victor Lindelof in central defense, replacing captain Harry Maguire.

Let’s take a look at the Possible lineup for both sides

City predicted starting XI to face United: Ortega; Walker, Dias, Stones, Akanji; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Haaland, Grealish.

United Predicted starting XI vs City: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Varane, Shaw; Casemiro, Fred; Fernandes, Eriksen, Sancho; Rashford.

Kick-off:

Saturday, 03-06-2023, 03:00 PM (GMT)

Stadium: Wembley Stadium.

Manchester City Form (All Competition): L -W -W -W -W

Manchester United Form (All Competition): W -W -W -W -L

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