FA Cup final 2023, Manchester City vs Manchester United: What time is it and what TV channel is it on?

United are dangerous – their Treble legacy is on the line

Guardiola, who revealed that No 2 goalkeeper Stefan Ortega will start ahead of his usual first choice Ederson after playing in every round of the tournament this season, has acknowledged that United will have double the motivation to topple City

“I didn’t speak with Bruno Fernandes and company to know exactly the reason why it means more to them – the emotional reason why they are going to play the final,” the City manager said.

“But I could understand it, I could understand… it [the Treble] belongs to them. That’s normal – sport is like that. Records will be broken. [United fans think:] ‘That belongs to us. We don’t want anyone else to do it’. So it’s normal, that feeling. It’s completely understandable. But it’s a football game – who will be better will win.”

Guardiola said there had not been a single mention of the Inter game this week as they focus fully on the threat posed by United.

“No, absolutely not – we didn’t speak once about Inter in these days,” he said. “United deserve full attention and commitment.”

After decades spent playing second fiddle to United, City are now the top dogs and Guardiola has urged his fans to enjoy the moment and to behave ahead of a game that poses both security risks and logistical headaches given the enmity between the clubs, national rail strikes and the threat of pitch invasions from Just Stop Oil protesters.

“They [City fans] have fun these years and this season,” he said. “I will ask our fans to behave properly first and secondly go there to enjoy an incredible event. The players will give everything to beat Man United. The consequences and the result, who knows? I don’t know. Erik ten Hag doesn’t know. Enjoy the moment.

“Tonight, when people travel, and tomorrow – unfortunately with the train strikes still on – enjoy, and enjoy next week to prepare the [Champions League] final. A dream to see the team. I understand completely [what it means] for City fans, who were in the shadow for decades, behind United. Have fun, enjoy the right portion of beers before the game and that’s all. Enjoy it.”

Guardiola’s insistence that Ortega will start ahead of Ederson came as something of a surprise on Friday. The Catalan’s decision to start Ederson’s understudy, Zack Steffen, in the FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool last season backfired spectacularly, with the stand-in goalkeeper at fault for the second goal in a 3-2 defeat at Wembley. But Guardiola said he was confident Ortega would deliver.

“He’s going to play yeah, it’s always like that, even in Barcelona, the keeper who has played FA Cup [stays in goal],” the City manager said. “He plays really good in the FA Cup and the last [league] games [against Chelsea and Brighton] to have a little bit of rhythm that Eddy [Ederson] has. Eddy plays the final of the Champions League.”

Despite Guardiola’s claims, Ten Hag has told his United players to forget all the talk about “Treble busting” and insisted the game is about creating a new legacy for the club, not preserving an old one.

“I know [what the Treble means to the fans], I know what is the thinking from the fans,” the United manager said. “But what we want is to restore Manchester United by winning trophies so on Saturday we have an opportunity to win a trophy and we don’t want to be distracted by anything [else]. If it is important for the fans, it is important for us, so we will give everything to win the Cup.”

Asked why he was not using it as extra motivation, Ten Hag added: “Because it is not necessary. It will not give more motivation for the team because their motivation is already enough – it can’t be more. They want to win a cup and they have an opportunity.”

Ten Hag said it was “unlikely” winger Antony would recover from an ankle injury in time and revealed that Anthony Martial is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a hamstring tear, a situation that could complicate any plans to sell the fitful France striker this summer.

“Yeah it’s going to be a long one but how long we don’t know, we have to do more assessment,” Ten Hag said of Martial’s injury.

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