Manchester City vs Manchester United: Match Preview | FA Cup 2022/23

Parth Sante
By Parth Sante
9 Min Read

The Premier League is done and dusted. Man City has its grasp all over the shiny accolade. Although blue but no signs of melancholy by far. The clouds of sadness are rather on the other side of Manchester, the red one. But a final rain awaits over Wembley, London as we head into the final of the FA Cup 22/23 season. Manchester Derby is on the avenue.

Manchester City is trying for the Treble this year, a feat which has only been achieved by their rivals Man United under Sir Alex Ferguson. With the Premier League trophy already in the cabinet and one hand on the Champions League silverware, due to being favorites, the one thing that is left is the FA Cup. How poetic! That their fierce rivals are in their way of the achievement of magnificent glory. Getting onto the winning part of this fixture, Man City hasn’t won any of their last 2 matches. This clearly has to do with the fact that they were preparing for this big fixture. Coming into this fixture, Pep wants all his players to be up to the mark, well rested and sharp. He heavily rotated the squad in the match against Brentford, which ended in a 1-0 loss. But the positive side is that the City players will be arriving in good condition. Pep has left no room for excuses, he’s determined more than you believe.

A season which started on bad terms, then went on to become a pleasant one thanks to Sir Marcus Rashford and now again a few rough patches are observed because of the injuries. But no worries as Old Trafford lives another day to watch the Champions League football. Manchester United’s season or to be more exact, Erik Ten Hag’s season can really become massive if he wins Man United the FA Cup. It will add up to his tally, making it 2 trophies in his first full season as the Red Devils’ gaffer. Even their current form is good with 4 wins in last 4 matches. The boys will surely try to make it 5/5 and end the season with the prestigious trophy.

Manchester City’s form: L D W W W

Manchester United’s form: W W W W L


Where: Wembley Stadium, London.
When: Saturday, 3rd June 2023.
Time: 7:30 PM IST / 2:00 PM GMT


Referee: Paul Tierney.
Assistants: Neil Davies, Scott Ledger.
Fourth official: Peter Bankes.
Reserve Assistant: Adrian Holmes.
VAR: David Coote.
Assistant VAR: Simon Long.


Manchester City welcomed back Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish, Ruben Dias, and Manuel Akanji to their first-team training on Wednesday, following their absence in the previous match against Brentford. With these influential players back in the mix, the team now has a stronger lineup for upcoming fixtures. Furthermore, Nathan Ake, who made his comeback from a hamstring injury, started the game against Brentford and showcased his potential to retain his spot on the left side of the team.

Meanwhile, Manchester United faces a challenging situation as they grapple with a lengthy injury list. Some crucial players are missing and this will hurt them a lot against this Manchester City team. Goalkeeper Tom Heaton, Lisandro Martinez, Sabitzer and Donny Van De Beek have been ruled out of the tie. Also, the presence of Antony is in doubt, he will be a great miss as well.

Tactical Game

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Pep Guardiola loves a 4-3-3 but that will be a lie if we observe Manchester City this year. The manager has been the very definition of adaptivity lately. He knows what he has; he knows how to get the best from it. The transition from 4-3-3 to 3-2-4-1 hasn’t been a smooth one, but oh god has it done wonders for them these past few months! A more calm-on-the-ball version of Manchester City can be seen. John Stones and Jack Grealish are the ones who have stepped up and impressed me the most. Stones is the modern day Mascherano, for Pep. The only troublesome thing is, when Stones tucks into the backline, Rodri is left in the mid along with only one other midfielder. This creates a lack of midfield numeracy. But it’s all fine till Grealish and Silva or Mahrez are performing the defensive duties on the wing.

The last match which saw Man United come on top of their rivals, Ten Hag played the team in a compact structure and in a pragmatic manner. The same has to be repeated. No space shall be provided at all. Since February or so, the structure in which Man City is said to be very tough to beat. It’s no 4-3-3 any more, which Ten Hag destroyed when they last met. It makes it even more difficult with the number of injuries United currently hold. Although a more compact, with no space for Haaland to turn and distribute the ball, the form of play should be showcased. The whole team has to be on the toes and ready for the counter, as more than half of the game will be played in Manchester United’s half. Capitalizing on the small chances they get is the only way ETH can squeeze out the victory.

Key Players

Erling Haaland

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The Norwegian monster-bot, the Majin Buu and what not to call him! It took him only one season to win his first golden boot. 36 goals scored in 35 matches, is an unbeatable record in itself. He has caused terror. Don’t know how many defenders will suffer trauma in the coming years due to this guy. The playmaking side, which was the only area where he was criticized. Well, he has stunned everyone after the Arsenal game. His holdup game was truly top notch. Eyes will be on him as he has already bagged a hat trick against Manchester United.

Bruno Fernandes

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Bruno is a special guy for Man United and the fans. He has become a reliable figure of the club. The in-form Portuguese Guy should be the one to watch against City. He has played 37 matches missing just one, shows how much of fit player he is. From those 37 he has managed to score 8 goals and 8 assist. The Expected figures are greater, meaning he has underperformed but on any day he has the potential to turn the tide of the tie.

Predicted Lineups

Manchester City predicted starting lineup: Ederson; Akanji, Dias, Walker; Rodri, Stones; Grealish, Gündoğan, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva; Haaland.

Manchester United predicted starting lineup: De Gea; Malacia, Lindelof, Varane, Wan-Bissaka; Eriksen, Casemiro; Garnacho, Bruno, Sancho; Rashford.

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