The last 10 meetings between Manchester City and Manchester United in Cup competitions from the International Champions Cup, League Cup and the FA Cup show Manchester United beating Manchester City with six wins to four. And this dates back to 2010 a time when City had become a force to be reckoned with in world football.
It just goes to show how much United remain very difficult opponents for City. As has been seen several times and in different competitions, the Blues can lose to the Red Devils at any time; even when the team is in top form and riding high.
Leading six to four in head-to-head meetings in Cup competitions, City will need to be wary of their United. Going into the game as favourites could be misleading. The team will need to approach the game with the mindset that anything can happen.
Having already won the League Cup this season, and qualified for the Champions League, the team is on a high. Eric Ten Hag is on a mission to take the team back to the top and has done a good job so far. Beating City will be considered a huge step forward in that regard.
The Dutchman comes into the game on the back of a 2-1 win against City. It was a result which showed the team can secure a win against City even in difficult circumstances. Two goals in four minutes turned the Premier League encounter at Old Trafford on its head and left Pep Guardiola and his men stunned.
United snatched victory from defeat despite having just 29 percent ball possession. The result looked like an injustice, but it was the reality of just how things can turn out when these two sides meet.
Vastly experienced in Cup competitions and with a huge reputation to go with it, United will not go into the game at Wembley with any fear. Victory for the Reds will count on several fronts. Apart from the usual bragging rights, the team will have the opportunity to preserve their legacy as the only English club to have won the treble.
Sir Alex Ferguson made history with the club in 2009 when he led the team to win the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League. No other team has managed the feat before. Hence, City will look to take one step towards matching that feat by beating United.
Of the two finals, the game against United is the most tricky. Not only is Man United a stronger team than Inter Milan, it’s vastly more experienced. Plus the little matter of a derby, the first one in the FA Cup final.
Guardiola has done well to give several of his key players a much-needed rest heading into the two finals. Although that has cost the team victories in the last two games, winning the next two is more important.
Losing the last game at Brentford could also be a blessing in disguise as it lets the players know they are still beatable. So both the manager and his players will go into the next game wary of their opponents and giving it their all, instead of being overconfident.
That is a better recipe for success.