Man City vs Man United Odds, Pick | FA Cup Final Preview
Alex Pantling/Getty. Pictured: Kyle Walker.
Man City vs Man United Odds
Man City Odds
Man United Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-150 / +120)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-125 / -106)|
|Odds via bet365. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
Man City are two matches away from becoming the first English team since 1999 to complete the treble by winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in the same season. The Cityzens rallied to win the Premier League and will face Inter Milan in the CL final next Saturday, June 10. But before that is the FA Cup final against Man United.
The Cityzens split their two PL matches with Man United this season and will face them a third time on Saturday.
City won 6-3 at home and lost 2-1 at Old Trafford in controversial fashion in the two league fixtures this season, while United have a chance to sweep the two domestic cups if they can pull the upset as a +300 underdog.
Read on for my FA Cup final preview.
Man City Have Two Matches to Glory
The Cityzens were able to go into cruise control mode for the final three matches of the Premier League season once Arsenal lost to Nottingham Forest on May 20. Pep Guardiola chose to give some key players some time off from training and rotate his first XI in the matches.
City beat Chelsea 1-0 but were largely outplayed in the match, then City drew Brighton 1-1 and lost at Brentford 1-0 on the final day of the season. Even though they won the league, City's league underlying performances had started to sputter a bit down the stretch run following a prior run of complete domination. City conceded a ton of chances from inside their own six-yard box to Everton and failed to separate from Leeds at home. The Peacocks have one of the worst defenses in the league.
Guardiola said that both Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish returned to training ahead of the final, but it's notable that they asked for and received a rest ahead of these last two finals. City have played an enormous number of matches this season and as we saw with Liverpool chasing four trophies at the end of last season, the fatigue can really build in for the top, most played squad members. Those two players, plus Ruben Dias and Manuel Akanji, did not travel to London with the team on Sunday to Brentford.
The City manager said they are "more or less fine," which is far from a ringing endorsement of their energy levels.
City will not be starting Ederson in goal for Saturday's final, as Stefan Ortega has been the cup goalkeeper all season. Normally this would be a solid downgrade, but Ederson's shot stopping form has been poor all season. He's actually graded out as a below-average shot stopper this season.
Man United Looking to Complete Positive Season
The shape of Manchester United's season has been quite unique because they have been one of the more high variance teams in terms of their week-to-week performance. David de Gea won the Golden Glove as the goalkeeper with the most clean sheets, but the United defense was just seventh in non-penalty xG allowed per match this season. The defensive profile featured plenty of clean sheets but they also got their doors blown off on multiple occasions. This is the same defense that conceded seven to Liverpool, six to Manchester City and four to Brentford.
Most of the Red Devils' issues came when trying to consistently build from the back under the pressure of an effective press. This was evident at Anfield, at Sevilla (conceded three) and even at Newcastle in an uncompetitive 2-0 defeat. Erik Ten Hag will probably set up Manchester United to play significantly more direct on Saturday, especially with Antony now unlikely to be fit for the final.
Antony is in the 86th percentile in progressive carries and 79th in progressive passes received, making him an excellent outlet and ball progressor for United out wide, even if the quality shot production and goals weren't quite there this season.
Anthony Martial has also already been ruled out for this match, leaving Wout Weghorst as the only fit striker for United. Weghorst is effective at coming short and linking the play but he didn't score a league goal all season and doesn't provide good shot production. That's been less of an issue for United against lesser sides because Ten Hag's system enables the midfield to get forward and provide an additional scoring punch. Casemiro scored four league goals and Christian Eriksen added eight assists.
United could also opt to play Rashford up top with Jadon Sancho and Alejandro Garnacho on the wings instead of Weghorst as the main striker. Garnacho has popped as a substitute in limited samples but would have a tough potential matchup with Kyle Walker out wide.
When United meets Premier competition, it's harder for those players to get into the penalty area and provide the additional numbers and shots. As a result, United are considerably more limited offensively.
Man City vs Man United Pick
Manchester United didn't beat any top half teams in the league away from home this season, but my projections show them at +255 to lift the trophy on Saturday. City are clearly at the top of their market rating, as they have been for the last six weeks in the league. City have only had one dominant performance in their last seven matches in all competitions, and their energy levels will certainly be tested on Saturday.
If United go more direct from goal kicks and in build-up, that will make the final a much more low-event contest. United have had their defensive issues in build-up at times this year and given away big chances as a result, but the City press will likely force the Red Devils to bypass it and try to play more directly.
I'd bet under 3 at -120 or better on Saturday as City likely move one step closer to the treble, but not without struggling to overcome some fatigue and an effective defensive United approach in the process.