Man Utd vs Man City: Seven things fans may have missed in FA Cup final build-up
The countdown to the big kick-off is under way, and here are a few stories Manchester United and Manchester City fans have missed this week.
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The first-ever all-Manchester FA Cup final is set to take place this afternoon (Saturday) at Wembley.
For Manchester City, the clash represents the opportunity to keep their treble hopes alive. As for Manchester United, they’ll be desperate to preserve their record as the only side in English football to have ever won the treble, while they’ll also be aiming to lift a second trophy of the campaign having claimed the Carabao Cup in February.
It’s been a long week of build-up to the game and, unsurprisingly, a few minor details could have passed fans by. Below we’ve rounded up some stories which supporters may have missed in the build-up to the Wembley contest.
Legends in attendance
Just before kick-off on Saturday, icons from both clubs will walk out with the official matchball. Sir Alex Ferguson and Mike Summerbee have been bestowed the honour and will deliver the ball onto the Wembley pitch. Shortly after, the FA’s President, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, will conduct the traditional pre-match presentation party to both teams.
While Ferguson will be a welcome attendee from the United section, another high-profile figure at the club will not. The Athletic report that Joel Glazer, the club’s co-chairman is planning to make the trip to Wembley for the third time this season, following the Carabao Cup and Women’s FA Cup finals, and it could cost United around £250,000 to fly the co-owner in via private jet.
City are set to wear their usual sky blue strip for the match, meaning United will have to slightly alter their kit. Erik ten Hag’s side will wear red shirts with black shorts and socks, as opposed to the white shorts from the club’s usual home colours.
Who’s the ref?
Paul Tierney is set to take charge of his first FA Cup final on Saturday, with David Coote in charge of VAR. Tierney has officiated four United matches this term, with the Red Devils winning three of those encounters. City have won all three matches the referee has overseen this term.
United announced ahead of the game that they will provide every fan at Wembley with a ‘limited-edition bucket hat and hand waver flag’. The fan memorabilia will be placed on seats ahead of the game, as were the free scarves supporters were given for the Carabao Cup final.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Ten Hag said it’s an honour to be involved in a Wembley FA Cup final. “Wembley, I think, is probably the best stadium in the world,” he opined. “To be there in a cup final is really exciting.”
Pep Guardiola also held his press conference ahead of the game and had a simple message for the City fans: “Tonight, when the people travel and tomorrow unfortunately with the train strikes… still enjoy and enjoy next week to prepare the [Champions League] final. Dream to see the team,” he said. “We will do everything to beat United. I understand completely that City fans were in the shadow for decades, behind United. We play the first time in the history of the FA Cup a final against them. Have fun, enjoy the right portion of beers before the game and that’s all and enjoy it,”