Not only do we get the 2023 FA Cup Final to conclude the English domestic season on June 3, but it’s also a Manchester Derby!

In what looks to be a battle of the old dominant force of the Premier League against the new, it’s fitting that United stand in the way of City’s hopes of replicating their emphatic Treble-winning campaign of 1998/99.

As is often the case this season, and even looking toward the Premier League odds for next season, the Cityzens are the heavy favourites. City come in at -350 to lift the FA Cup and -189 to win the league again in 2023/24.

It makes for grim reading for United fans, but in a single trophy match, weaker teams have defied much greater odds, and the Red Devils may have a few elements in their favour.

FA Cup Final Team Previews

Manchester City arrive at the FA Cup Final having won the Premier League with two games to spare, while Manchester United finished third in the league and 14 points back of their local rivals.

For City, it was a tough season in which Arsenal arose as legitimate contenders, forcing the Sky Blues to go on a rampaging run of form to reclaim the top spot. At the same time, they booked a place in the Champions League Final.

Under new manager Erik ten Hag, United endured some teething problems at first, and a few patches of poor form, but landing a Champions League spot and the League Cup mark a strong start for the Dutchman. 

While the title was, indeed, secured, City did end the season with a 1-0 loss to Brentford, ending their 25-game unbeaten streak. 

It could, and likely should, be seen as a run out for all the club’s second-string players and youngsters in a nothing game, enabling the presumed starters for the FA Cup Final and UCL Final to get some rest. 

That said, against Brighton & Hove Albion a few days prior, what was very close to a full-strength City XI could only muster a 1-1 tie with the Seagulls’ second-stringers; for much of the game, Brighton looked the better team.

Form isn’t everything when you have such a deep squad, but United will enjoy the fact that they secured a come-from-behind triumph on the last day of the season. Even with little to play for, it marked four wins on the bounce.

City vs United: Head-to-Head

The overall record in the Manchester Derby reads 78 wins for United, 53 ties, and 58 wins for City, but that’s heavily weighed by the historical dominance of the Red Devils.

Since the 2009/10 campaign, the record has narrowed to 17 City wins, four draws, and 16 United wins, which includes a 3-2 win to United (January 2012) and a 1-0 win to City (April 2011) in the FA Cup. 

This season, Pep Guardiola fully took advantage of the change at the helm at United, commissioning his ideal XI to massacre their local rivals in October. 

The game ended 6-3 with a hat-trick for Erling Haaland, as well as a couple of assists, but the brace from Anthony Martial and Antony only help to flatter the scoreline for United when City had 22 shots to their 12.

After that drubbing, Ten Hag said that his team would learn from the experience and return better, but little was expected of the Old Trafford residents when they welcomed City in January. 

At the hour-mark, City finally broke through via Jack Grealish, but then, the home team rallied. A dubious goal from Bruno Fernandes made it 1-1 at 78 minutes, and just four minutes later, Marcus Rashford popped up to make it 2-1. 

In the 2022/23 campaign, the City vs United head-to-head reads 1-1.

City vs United: Injuries

With several players being rested or rotated out for the final games of the season, Guardiola was, naturally, asked about any fitness concerns for some of his most reliable players. 

Central to the questions were star players Kevin De Bruyne, Rúben Dias, Manuel Akanji, and Jack Grealish. According to the Spaniard, they were rested either due to mental exhaustion or slight niggles. 

All of City’s top options are expected to be fit and ready for the FA Cup Final, but with the more prestigious Champions League Final on the horizon, and the squad being so deep, those who aren’t 100 per cent may be rested.

For United, the injury concerns just seem to continue to pile up. Anthony Martial, who scored twice against City earlier in the season and scored twice in his last four games, has suffered a muscle tear and will miss the FA Cup Final.

He joins other pivotal parts of Ten Hag’s line-up in Lisandro Martínez and Bayern Munich loanee Marcel Sabitzer as being out for the final. Antony may also miss out, but the boss seems optimistic that he’ll be fit enough to feature.

FA Cup Final Betting Preview

Manchester City are the heavy -350 to lift the FA Cup and -200 favourites to get the job done in 90 minutes. For the game to go to extra time, you’ll get +350 odds on the soccer betting page. 

There isn’t any doubt that Manchester United are the underdogs for the FA Cup Final at +500 in regular time, which is only emphasised by the anytime goalscorer odds. 

Haaland’s absurd goalscoring record is expected to be strengthened in the final, with the Norwegian in at -189 to score anytime, or +215 to open or close the scoring.

Just behind Haaland, it’s the World Cup-winning back-up striker Julián Álvarez – who gets +145 odds to score anytime despite most expecting him to start on the bench – and then winger Phil Foden at +205.

Perhaps the most eye-catching addition to the goalscorer list is Nico O’Reilly. Placed ahead of all United players bar Rashford (+225 anytime), the 18-year-old comes in at +250 to score anytime – the same odds as Riyad Mahrez.

Away from the goalscorers, and into the spread markets, it’s clear that the oddsmakers are expecting a multi-goal triumph for the Sky Blues. 

Manchester United at +1 is still above evens at +162, needing a +2 buffer on the spread to go below evens at -167. On the flip side, Manchester City -1 at +125 will certainly appeal to those backing the Cityzens.

However, the odds aren’t counting United out from scoring in the game. The clean sheet lines read City at +135 to go without conceding a goal, complementing the both teams to score line for yes at -133.

2023 FA Cup Final FAQs

  • Where is the 2023 FA Cup Final being played?

The 2023 FA Cup Final is being played at Wembley Stadium in London, UK.

  • How can I watch the 2023 FA Cup Final in Canada?

You can watch the 2023 FA Cup Final live on Sportsnet in Canada.

  • What time is kick-off for the 2023 FA Cup Final in Canada?

The 2023 FA Cup Final has its kick-off set for 3 pm local time, which is 11 am AT, 10 am ET, 9 am CT, 8 am MT, and 7 am PT on Sunday, June 3.

  • How many goals has Erling Haaland scored for Manchester City this season?

Erling Haaland has scored 52 goals in 51 games for Manchester City this season. In three FA Cup games in 2022/23, the Norwegian striker has scored three goals. 

  • Which team has won the FA Cup the most?

Arsenal have won the FA Cup the most, boasting 14 triumphs in the FA Cup Final. Manchester United rank second with 12 wins. Manchester City have won the cup six times in 11 attempts.

*Credit for all images in this article belongs to AP Photo*

Ben is very much a sports nerd, being obsessed with statistical deep dives and the numbers behind the results and performances.

Top of the agenda are hockey, soccer, and boxing, but there's always time for the NFL, cricket, Formula One, and a bit of mixed martial arts.