FA Cup Final: Best Bets for the Manchester Derby at Wembley Stadium

FA Cup Final: Best Bets for the Manchester Derby at Wembley Stadium

Hot on the heels of adding yet another Premier League title to the Etihad trophy cabinet, Pep Guardiola’s men have their eyes on more silverware in the oldest cup competition of them all.

Always a momentous date in the season, the 2024 edition of the FA Cup Final has a little added spice, as lying in wait for the Citizens at Wembley Stadium are the boys from the other side of Manchester, as Eric ten Haag bids to end a beleaguered season on a high.

City are understandably hot favourites to prevail, but will the game go as the odds suggest, or can the Red Devils cause a shock? Here, using data presented by NewBettingSites.uk, we pick out our best bets for one of the flagship fixtures of the domestic footballing year.

City vs United: FA Cup Record

First successful in 1909 and most recently in 2016, Manchester United’s total of 12 FA Cup wins sees them sit second behind Arsenal in the all-time list.

City’s total of seven wins places them five behind United. Three of those have come since the 2010/11 season – most notably last year, when beating Manchester United 2-1 in the final. United will hope things go this time around, having fallen behind to an Ilkay Gundogan strike after just 12 seconds – the fastest FA Cup Final goal ever.

Route to the Final

Manchester City

  • Third Round - Huddersfield Town (H) – 5-0
  • Fourth Round - Tottenham Hotspur (A) – 1-0
  • Fifth Round - Luton Town (A) – 6-2
  • Quarter Final - Newcastle United (H) – 2-0
  • Semi Final - Chelsea (N) – 1-0

Manchester United

  • Third Round - Wigan Athletic (A) – 2-0
  • Fourth Round - Newport County (A) – 4-2
  • Fifth Round - Nottingham Forest (A) – 1-0
  • Quarter Final - Liverpool (H) – 4-3(a.e.t)
  • Semi Final - Coventry City (N) – 3-3(penalties)

With four consecutive ties against Premier League opposition, City had the tougher route to the final but fairly skated through with clean sheets in four of their five games. United had things easier on paper but arrive on the back of two classic ties – edging past Liverpool courtesy of a last-gasp Amad Diallo strike and surviving despite coughing up a 3-0 lead against Championship outfit Coventry City.

The League Meetings

Manchester United 0 – 3 Manchester City

The gulf in class between the sides was evident in this October clash at Old Trafford. City boasting 60.5% possession, winning the total shot count 21-7, the shots on target count 10-3, and the corners count 12-7 on their way to a 3-0 success. Erling Halland netted from open play and the penalty spot, with Phil Foden sealing the deal ten minutes from time. Just about the only area United came out on top was in the card count, which they led 4-1.

Manchester City 3 – 1 Manchester United

A narrower margin of victory at the Etihad, but, if anything, City were even more dominant – winning the total shot count 27-3, shots on target count 8-1, corners count 15-2 and bossing the game with a huge 72.9% possession. Phil Foden with a brace and Erling Haaland cancelled out an early Marcus Rashford thunderbolt. City kept on the right side of arbiter Andy Madley, whilst United picked up two yellow cards.

Recent Form

Manchester City

  • West Ham (H) – 3-1
  • Tottenham Hotspur (A) – 2-0
  • Fulham (A) – 4-0
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers (H) – 5-1
  • Nottingham Forest (A) – 2-0

Manchester United</h3?

  • Brighton & Hove Albion (A) – 2-0
  • Newcastle United (H) – 3-2
  • Arsenal (H) – 0-1
  • Crystal Palace (A) – 0-4
  • Burnley (H) – 1-1

City win the recent form competition with ease – scoring 16 times and conceding only twice as they never really looked in danger of losing the title. United have been far more hit-and-miss. Back-to-back wins over Newcastle and Brighton should at least boost their confidence, but they continue to look shaky at the back – Palace hitting them for four, and Newcastle missing a hatful of chances in that five-goal thriller at Old Trafford.

The xG Score Prediction

Manchester City’s xG stats per game for the 2023/24 Premier League season sit at 2.36 xG for and 0.98 xG against. United’s respective numbers are 1.59 xG for and 1.96 xG against. Combining those figures suggests a scoreline of Manchester City 2.16 – 1.29. Of course, those numbers factor in games against all sides in the Premier League. We can expect Manchester United’s totals to be worse against the cream of the division, whilst City's numbers shouldn’t take too much of a hit against a United side who finished down in eighth.

Recommended Bets

Manchester United head to Wembley with the added incentive of a place in Europe – win and they qualify for the Europa League, lose and they miss out on Europe entirely, with the Europa Conference League place going to Newcastle United. However, that added motivation is unlikely to be enough facing a City side who are always up for the big occasion.

Whichever way you approach this game – head-to-head record, recent form, xG figures, or a simple look at the playing personnel of the two sides – Manchester City are a significantly better outfit than this current Manchester United side. Strange things can happen in a one-off FA Cup Final, but we will side with logic and take a punt on the following Bet Builder.

  • Manchester City to score over 2 goals
  • Manchester United to receive over 2 cards
  • Manchester City to Have over 9 corners
  • Phil Foden to score anytime

A £10 bet on the above Bet Builder returns £85 with LiveScoreBet.

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