I know Man Utd will be at their best - Man City star explains what team needs in ‘special’ final

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Despite Manchester United’s disappointing season, they’ve enjoyed some memorable wins over Manchester City in recent years.

Rodri has said he is expecting Manchester United to be at their very best in Saturday’s FA Cup final.

The Red Devils have endured an up-and-down campaign and lost 14 Premier League matches in 2023/24, finishing eighth in the final table. But Erik ten Hag’s side ended the season with two wins and showed more resilience and defensive structure in losses to Manchester City and Arsenal during the final months of season, in addition to drawing against Liverpool.

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That could prove important in the cup final and United are expected to repeat the sort of tactics that infuriated City for long spells of March’s derby win at the Etihad, a game that was still tight heading into the final 15 minutes.

Rodri has played against United 13 times in his City career and despite the gap in quality between the clubs over recent years, has managed just seven wins compared to five losses. He knows all too well that a fired-up United side can be difficult to beat.

“Always against Man United in a final is going to be special for the people, for the city,” the Spaniard told City’s website. “It’s going to be a special game for us. We need to find our best passion.

“We know they are struggling a little bit in the table but in the final third they are dangerous. We are going to expect the best version of Man United and I think we will need our best version to beat them.”

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It’s the second year in a row that the two Manchester clubs will compete in the FA Cup final. Last season, it was City who lifted the trophy thanks to Ilkay Gundogan’s two goals, the first of which came after just 12 seconds.

United had the chance to prevent City from winning the treble 12 months ago. This time around, the Red Devils could stop the champions becoming the first side in English football history to win back-to-back doubles.

“Every final is special for a reason. Of course when you win it, it is special in its own way,” said Rodri. “I remember last season, Gundo scoring that early goal, it gives you wings in this sense in the first 30 seconds.

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