Two armies from one city battle for one prize as all attention turns to Wembley for the 142nd edition of the FA Cup final which pits Manchester United against Manchester City.
Nearer and nearer draws the time, the time that shall surely be, when these two royalties would come out to battle, even though only one winnner would emerge.
Manchester City are seeking to clinch their second trophy of the season when they play in the FA Cup final.
And likewise Manchester United, they are also chasing their second trophy of the season.
The Citizens would be seeking to win their 7th FA Cup title in history while the Red Devils would be eyeing their 13th title in history.
Pep Guardiola’s side are coming into this game off the back of a 1-0 loss to Brentford in their final game of the 2022/23 Premier League season, although it was much of a fringe side fielded for the game.
For Erik Ten Hag’s men, they came back from a goal down to beat Fulham by 2-1 at Old Trafford to culminate an impressive season they have had.
City are chasing the treble with the Champions League final in sight, an historic feat that has only been achieved once in English football and it was done by their opposition in the final during the 1998/99 season.
Following a remarkable campaign for Erik Ten Hag where his side finished 3rd on the Premier League table, a chance for another silverware is one more gold that they would love to mine.
The English Premier League champions dispatched Chelsea, Arsenal, Bristol City, Burnley and Sheffield United on their way to the FA Cup final.
Neighbors, Manchester United, came out victorious over Everton, Reading, West Ham United, Fulham and Brighton to book a place in the final.
Pep Guardiola’s army are yet to concede any goal so far in the final and they could become the third side to win the FA Cup without conceding a goal depending on the outcome of the encounter on Saturday.
Only Preston North End in 1889 and Bury in 1903 have ever lifted the FA Cup title without conceding one goal all through the competition.
Manchester United would be playing in the 21st FA Cup final on Saturday, the joint-highest of any team in the tournament’s history alongside Arsenal.
Despite a remarkable run of four wins out of four in their remaining Premier League matches, United still finished the season 14 points behind Manchester City.
City’s last appearance was in the 2019 FA Cup final where they smashed Watford by 6-0.
For the Red Devils, their last outing in the FA Cup final was in 2018 where they were defeated 1-0 by Chelsea.
However, Manchester United lifted the trophy two years prior to that FA Cup final.
There is definitely much to play for in the final as both sides would be fighting for pride in the first ever Manchester Derby FA Cup final and the domestic cup crown in the competition.
One fascinating subplot to Manchester United winning is the possibility of seeing another Manchester Derby in the community shield next season.
The two sides have met twice this season with Manchester City winning 6-3 at the Etihad and Manchester United coming out victorious at Old Trafford by 2-1.
Team News For Manchester United
It was reported during the week that Anthony Martial picked-up a hamstring problem and as such he won’t feature in the final.
Lisandro Martinez, Marcel Sabitzer, Donny Van De Beek and Tom Heaton are all out as well due to an injury.
Antony could feature in the tie as Erik Ten Hag sounds confident of him making a return to the squad, however, it is uncertain if he would be thrown into the fray right from the blast of the whistle.
If he is not fit enough to start, it would mean Jadon Sanch and Alejandro Garnacho might flank Marcus Rashford who started as a 9 when both sides met in January.
Luke Shaw is also fit enough to return to the starting XI after recuperating from a minor back problem.
Raphael Varane is also expected to partner Victor Lindelof in central defence as Harry Maguire would most likely feature from the bench.
Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes and Eriksen or Fred are expected to start in the middle of the park.
Team News for Manchester City
Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish, Ruben Dias and Manuel Akanji are all doubtful for the final as they missed the final game of the Premier League season due to injury.
Nathan Ake who made a return from injury against Brentford is expected to start and John Stones should start in his regular midfield role partnering Rodri these days.
Pep Guardiola revealed on Friday that Stefan Ortega who has started majority of Manchester City’s FA Cup matches would start in the FA final ahead of Ederson Moraes.
IIkay Gundogan should make a comeback in midfield, while Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden would offer selection headache for Pep Guardiola.
In right wing, the man who pumped a hat-trick in the semi final, Riyad Mahrez is expected to start, while upfront record-breaker Erling Haaland should lead the line.
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Lindelof, Shaw, Casemiro, Eriksen, Sancho, Fernandes, Garnacho and Rashford
Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson, Walker, Dias, Ake, Stones, Rodri, Bernardo, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Grealish and Haaland
It’s a tough one to call seeing how both sides have performed in recent months and with several high-profile names in both set up.
However, we fancy the encounter heading into penalties and possibly an heroic win for Manchester United in the FA Cup final.