Your essential guide to the FA Cup final

Tuesday 21 May 2024 10:00

All eyes will be on Wembley this Saturday, as Manchester United play Manchester City in the Emirates FA Cup final for the second consecutive season.

City, who edged last year’s showpiece at the national stadium by winning 2-1, will be the favourites, having claimed a record fourth consecutive Premier League title on Sunday.

But Erik ten Hag’s men beat Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion in our last two fixtures to end a difficult league campaign on a high and there is the added incentive of qualifying for European football next term, should we emerge victorious against Pep Guardiola’s side.

Here’s your in-depth preview for the 143rd FA Cup final…

Ten Hag admits to selection dilemma


Rasmus Hojlund's form and the system for Wembley means the manager has much to consider.


The final is being broadcast live on BBC One and ITV1 in the United Kingdom, with kick-off set for 15:00 BST.

Tune into MUTV for a bumper Matchday Live show - we'll be on air from 13:30 BST. Wes Brown and Danny Webber are our pundits at Wembley. and the United App are the places to be before, during and after the match, as you will also be able to find exclusive interviews, rolling updates and interactive content, while the Match Centre in our app will give you the option to track in-game data and statistics.

Match highlights will be available to watch from 12:00 BST on Sunday.


United’s injury issues have eased during the month of May, with Raphael Varane following Bruno Fernandes, Lisandro Martinez and Marcus Rashford in returning to first-team action after injury.

Varane was a late substitute in our 2-0 win at the Amex Stadium in the closing game of the top-flight term, but fellow centre-backs Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire were not part of the squad on the south coast. Lindelof was pictured training at Carrington last week, while Ten Hag suggested Maguire had a ‘fair chance’ of being involved against City.

Luke Shaw’s prospects of playing are slimmer, according to the manager, as he has not featured since mid-February. Tyrell Malacia and Anthony Martial have been absent for even longer, while Mason Mount had to sit out the last three league games.

Guardiola has benefited from a fully fit squad in recent weeks, although he will have one key player missing at Wembley.

City's first-choice goalkeeper Ederson suffered a small fracture to his right eye socket in last week’s 2-0 victory at Tottenham, so Stefan Ortega will deputise again. The German has played all 11 FA Cup games for City since signing in the summer of 2022, including last year’s final, and made a couple of vital stops after replacing Ederson in that meeting with Spurs.

Onana: FA Cup win will repay the fans


Andre is desperate to get his hands on the trophy at Wembley as a thank you to our supporters.


The Reds benefited from home advantage in each round on our way to last year’s final, but it has been a different story in 2023/24. A professional 2-0 victory at Wigan in early January was followed by a six-goal thriller in Newport, with goals from Antony and Rasmus Hojlund settling the tie 4-2 in our favour after the hosts' improbable comeback from two goals down.

Casemiro’s late header was enough to knock out Nottingham Forest in round five, before an all-time classic between United and Liverpool ensued at Old Trafford in March’s quarter-final. Amad’s last-gasp winner in extra-time will live long in the memory.

There was more drama in store at the semi-final stage - the Reds were cruising at three goals to the good against Coventry at Wembley, before the Championship side mounted an unlikely recovery to force extra-time and, eventually, penalties. Thankfully, we kept our nerve to set up another all-Manchester final…

City’s progress has been a little more serene, as they have kept four clean sheets in their five fixtures so far. Huddersfield Town were dispatched 5-0 before Nathan Ake’s 88th-minute goal eliminated Tottenham in round four.

Erling Haaland scored five of City’s goals in a 6-2 demolition of Luton Town and Newcastle fell 2-0 at the quarter-final stage, before Bernardo Silva ended Chelsea’s chances in an admittedly tight semi-final, played three days after our crosstown rivals had been knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid.

120 in 20: United v Liverpool Video

120 in 20: United v Liverpool

120 in 20 | We’ve got a feeling the extended highlights edit from the FA Cup quarter-final will be a popular watch…


This will be United’s 22nd final appearance, putting us one clear of Arsenal, who are the competition's record 14-time winners.

A win at Wembley would move us on to 13 successes and end an eight-year drought in terms of lifting the trophy. Our last success was in 2016, when Louis van Gaal was in charge for an extra-time victory over Crystal Palace.

City, who have won seven of their previous 12 finals, are looking to secure back-to-back wins for the first time.

This is the 11th meeting of the Manchester sides at any stage of the FA Cup, with United winning six ties and City four to date.

Watch the penalty shootout in full Video

Watch the penalty shootout in full

Penalty shootout | Watch all of the spot kicks – and mind games – at Wembley Stadium…


If the Reds were to win the FA Cup, we’d qualify for next season’s Europa League group stage, at the expense of Chelsea, who would drop into the Conference League. Newcastle, who pipped us to seventh in the Premier League, would then be bumped out of continental qualification altogether.

A City victory would mean no European involvement for United for the first time since the 2014/15 season.


Referee: Andrew Madley
Assistant Referees: Harry Lennard, Nick Hopton 
Fourth Official: Simon Hooper
Reserve Assistant Referee: Tim Wood
Video Assistant Referee: Michael Oliver
Support VAR: Peter Bankes
Assistant VAR: Stuart Burt