BATTLE OF THE MANCHESTER’S FOR THE FA CUP
2023-05-31 · 2 min read · Champions League/Soccer
As well as local bragging rights being at stake, Premier League champions Manchester City and League Cup holders Manchester United know the winner of a first major cup final between the two will be celebrating a rare double. City also have the dream of a Treble, knowing victory against their neighbours would leave them just needing to beat Inter Milan in next Saturday's Champions League final to match a feat achieved by only one other club in English football. And that team to win a Premier League, FA Cup and European Cup in one season? Yep, Manchester United - and the desire to keep their historic achievement in 1999 to themselves is obvious.
How hard is the double? With all the talk about trebles, it would be easy to forget the 'double' that is also up for grabs for both teams at Wembley on Saturday. History, though, suggests it is an achievement not to be sniffed at. In 2019, City became the first side to win the FA Cup and the Premier League in the same season since Chelsea did it in 2009-10 and they are only the eighth club to do so. Their Carabao Cup triumph over Chelsea in February 2019 meant they became only the fourth club to hold the League Cup and the FA Cup simultaneously - with Liverpool adding their name to that particular roll of honour last season.
The other teams to achieve it are Chelsea (2006-07), Arsenal (1992-93) and Liverpool (2000-01). Manchester United could join that list on Saturday. And there have been only 10 instances of a side winning the English topflight and League Cup in history.
As for on the pitch – the two rivals have split results against one another this season. City routed United 6-3 at the Etihad Stadium in October however United responded with a comeback 2-1 victory at Old Trafford in mid-January. Of course, it has been City in blistering form for the last several months (they lost the final game of the season 1-0 to Brentford although it meant absolutely nothing) and even if they were coming off a couple poor results, they would still be heavy favourites heading into this one.
Manchester United are hoping winger Antony will be fit by Saturday. He was stretchered off with an ankle injury last weekend. French forward Anthony Martial has officially been ruled out for the match. Despite this, United still have plenty of options going forward in Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Wout Weghourst to name a few.
As for the result – I think it will be a one-goal match. Extra-time is what I am betting on with Erling Haaland scoring in extra-time to claim a 2-1 Cityzens win.
By: Aaron Cantin