Man City vs Manchester United FA Cup Final live updates plus early team news and how to watch

Ahead of this afternoon’s FA Cup final at Wembley, our United journalists have given their thoughts on how they think the Reds should line up…

Samuel Luckhurst

After last week’s games, ten of the 11 places are guaranteed. The controversial call is the third striker and, provided he has trained like a demon this week (Ten Hag would know), that spot goes to Marcus Rashford.

It seems like an illogical call but it makes sense. Rashford is a Mancunian, he has played in derbies from the youth system to the first team, he has scored in six of them and he backed up his considerable talk in the March derby with his career-high goal.

He will recover from his omission from the England squad and this is an occasion that could revive or end his United career.

Like Amad lately, facing him against Josko Gvardiol early on is a different entity. Amad would be the more effective game changer from the bench than Rashford.

Choosing two wingers would also mean that Bruno Fernandes plays in his best role. United are effectively one player short of fielding their best XI, so it would make no sense to deliberately weaken them.


Ten Hag should finally have something resembling a proper defense at Wembley. While he would love to have a natural left-back like Shaw available, playing with Martinez and Varane will improve the backbone of the team and that is much needed against City. They can chain Haaland.

I would then move Casemiro back into midfield, but place him alongside Amrabat, who has recently added some strength and caution to the midfield. It has not been so easy for United to play with the Moroccan in the team. Mainoo is a sure starter in the finals and rightly so.

That leaves the attack to be solved and there are some puzzles. He would prefer to play Hojlund as a striker rather than using Fernandes as a false nine. Instead, the captain can play on the right and his diligence could help control the in-form Gvardiol. Garnacho gets the nod on the left with Amad and Rashford as impact substitutes.

Steven Railston

Ten Hag has used Fernandes in different roles for tactical reasons against City during his tenure and it seems unlikely that he will start in central attacking midfield, but I think he is the best option when considering the alternatives to playing alongside Casemiro and Mainoo.

If you move Fernandes to the right to provide additional cover, Amrabat, Scott McTominay or Christian Eriksen would have to start, which would be asking for trouble against City.

There is also a decision to be made on Rashford, who missed the provisional England squad earlier this week. Amad deserves to start in good form, however, it would be a great decision to place Rashford on the bench given that he is capable of producing a moment of brilliance.

Rashford should be hungry to prove a point after missing Euro 2024 and his best form should be seen at Wembley this weekend.