It’s one of England’s most prestigious club competitions in world football. Let’s take a look at the FA Cup!
2023 FA Cup Final
It’s been a gruelling campaign like every year, and only two teams remain. For the first time in the tournament’s history, we’ve got a Manchester derby for the FA Cup Final this Sunday (AEDT) at Wembley Stadium. Manchester City have been the benchmark in the modern era of English football, and a win here would put them a step closer to winning the treble, a feat only ever done by their cross-town rivals, Manchester United.
They sit 1-1 from their two Premier League encounters this season, so this is a mouth-watering heavyweight bout. The FA Cup Final is always a special occasion, but this one has an added sense of magic. Let’s try to find a winner!
Manchester City wrapped up the 2022/23 Premier League in stunning fashion, winning 12 straight games in their run home to claim the title. It’s their fifth title in six seasons, to go with their four league Cups and an FA Cup since 2018. It has been a truly dominant era for the Blue Moon, brought upon by the arrival of Pep Guardiola.
Unsurprisingly, City goes into this clash as the firm market favourite, currently $1.45 on Wishbet. In this Premier League season alone, they have scored 96 goals from 38 games, averaging a whopping 2.47 goals per match. This included a 6-3 drubbing of the Red Devils back in October, a score-line that flattered Manchester United considering it was 6-1 with just six minutes of normal time remaining in the game. Scoring a hat trick in that game was PL Player of the Year Erling Haaland, the league’s top scorer with 36 goals across the campaign. His quality in front of goal has added a dimension to Guardiola’s play that we have not seen before (or at least since Sergio Aguero). In front of the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and a highly-improved Jack Grealish, his extraordinary form has been a revelation to world football.
The fact of the matter is we know they will score goals. Providing they can break down United’s counter, starting with Rodri at the midfield anchor and nullify the pace of Rashford, Garnacho, Sancho, etc., it’s hard to see the PL Champions not adding to their trophy cabinet for 2023.
— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) May 31, 2023
Manchester United have been resurgent under new manager Erik ten Haag this season, winning the League Cup, clinching a Champions League spot for next season and now has a chance to beat their rivals to claim their first FA Cup since 2016. They sit alone as the only English club to win the treble and will steadfastly ensure it stays that way. Further to that, a win here would see them clinch their first-ever domestic cup double, so there’s plenty on the line for the Red Devils.
Despite their improvements, the task at hand for United is seismic. Ten Haag refuses to fall into the trap of a high press, a tactic that saw City’s greatest challengers, Arsenal, torn apart only a few weeks ago, as it simply doesn’t work. We can expect United to sit deep in a low block again and absorb as much pressure as possible, then try to turn them around in a quick, direct counterattack. It worked in January in their 2-1 win at Old Trafford, and there’ll be plenty of confidence they can do it again. Will City be better set up for it this time around? Most likely. Regardless, currently, at $6.50 in betting, it’s a juicy proposition.
United especially come into consideration if they can get through 90 minutes unscathed. They have reached the final through a penalty shootout with Brighton, and if they can make it that far, it’s level playing field. The Red Devils have proved they can be a resilient defensive unit, but 120 minutes is a long time to hold out the best-attacking team in world football.
Pushing for more of the same ⚡️
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) June 1, 2023
TIP: Manchester City + Over 1.5 goals + Haaland anytime goal scorer
You can’t go past the PL Champions. If they bring their best, United will have the best seat in the house to watch the world’s best footballing team go to work.