Wembley Stadium The FA Cup Final

Mik Bowers. Dazn Bet’s very own football fanatic, and unashamed Man-U fan, brings us regular highlights of his favourite games. If you’ve missed the game, or just want a reminder, then Mik’s got you covered. Focusing mainly on the FA Cup, The Premier League and occasional games from the major European tournaments, Mik gives us his thoughts on the matches.

Mik is in his element here with Man U facing their home town rivals in the FA Cup Final on the 3rd of June 2023.

The FA Cup Final, what’s it all about?

The English Football Association Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is the oldest football competition in the world. It was first contested in 1871 and is open to all football clubs in England, from the Premier League to non-league teams. The FA Cup is a prestigious tournament that draws millions of viewers every year, and it has produced some of the most memorable moments in English football history.

The format of the FA Cup is straightforward. It is a knockout competition, with each tie played over one game. If the game is tied after 90 minutes, a replay is played at the away team’s ground. If the replay is still tied after 90 minutes, then extra time and penalty shootouts are used to determine the winner. The winner of the FA Cup Final is awarded the trophy and qualifies for the UEFA Europa League.

Over the years, the FA Cup has been dominated by a small number of teams. The most successful team in FA Cup final history is Arsenal, with 14 titles. Manchester United is a close second, with 12 titles, while Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Chelsea have each won the FA Cup 8 times. Other notable teams that have won the competition multiple times include Aston Villa (7) Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City (6).

One of the reasons the FA Cup is so special is that it provides an opportunity for lower-league teams to compete with the big boys. The competition is open to all football clubs in England, regardless of their level, and teams from the lower leagues have a chance to upset the Premier League giants. In recent years, teams like Wigan Athletic, Portsmouth, and Hull City have all reached the final of the FA Cup, and Wigan even won the trophy in 2013.

Manchester United celebrate winning the FA Cup Final

Giant Killing

The FA Cup is also known for its giant-killing upsets. These occur when a lower-league team beats a higher-league team. One of the most famous giant-killing upsets in FA Cup history occurred in 2013 when Wigan Athletic defeated Manchester City, the defending Premier League champions, in the final. Other giant killing upsets include: Harlow Town beating Leicester City 1 nil in 1980, Altrincham beating Birmingham 2 – 1 in 1986 and Woking beating West Bromwich Albion 4 – 2 in 1991.

The FA Cup has also produced some of the most memorable moments in English football history. From Ronnie Radford’s thunderbolt for Hereford United against Newcastle United in 1972 to Steven Gerrard’s wonder goal for Liverpool against West Ham United in 2006, the FA Cup has provided fans countless unforgettable moments. The 2006 FA Cup final between Liverpool and West Ham, in particular, was one of the greatest FA Cup finals of all time, with both teams producing a thrilling display of attacking football that ended in a 3-3 draw. Liverpool eventually won the game on penalties.

League or Cup?

One criticism of the FA Cup in recent years has been the prioritization of the Premier League over the competition. With the Premier League being such a lucrative and prestigious competition, some teams have chosen to rest their key players in FA Cup matches to focus on the league. This has led to a decrease in the quality of the FA Cup, with some matches being played in front of half-empty stadiums and featuring weakened teams.

Despite this, the FA Cup remains a special competition that captures the imagination of football fans across the world. The competition has a rich history and has provided countless unforgettable moments over the years. With its unique format and the possibility of giant-killing upsets, the FA Cup is a tournament that never fails to entertain.

Manchester City celebrate winning the FA Cup Final

FA Cup Final 2022/2023 season

The city of Manchester will be divided come Saturday 3rd June. Brothers, fathers and sons, sisters, friends, neighbours and work colleagues will be split as to who they will support on match day. The city will be divided!

But, who is likely to take the spoils? Let’s take a look at both teams

As mentioned above, Manchester United have won this competition more times than most, (other than Arsenal) and this won’t be lost on the current squad or the Manchester United manager, Erik ten Hag. With one cup already in the bag Ten Hag will be looking to secure his second piece of silverware in what is becoming an already successful first season in charge.

United have played well under Ten Hag and he has the beginnings of a very good team who could, next season, challenge for top spot (assuming they buy a couple of key players in the summer)

Having said that, Manchester City, managed by Josep ” Pep ” Guardiola, have hit form at the right time. As of writing, City sit top the premier league, just in front of Arsenal, and barring an almighty slip up, should finish the season in first place. They are also still on for the treble (FA Cup, Premier League and European Cup)

Their Norwegian centre forward, Erling Haaland, son of Alfie Haaland, who also played for Manchester City, has scored over 40 goals this season and has been instrumental in City being in their current league position.

Manchester United have been guilty of several last minute slips ups to hand opposing teams points in games that should have been sewn up. Sevilla and Tottenham both recent examples of this.

It’s very likely Manchester United will go into the FA Cup Final as the underdog, something that happens rarely. But, you can never write them off. The players and the fans know the importance of the game and you just never know. Form, big names and goalscoring records and stats go out of the window when it comes to local derbies. And this game doesn’t get any bigger!

This will be the first time Manchester City have played Manchester United in the FA Cup final, so although the bookies will have City as favourites, an upset shouldn’t be discounted!

My Prediction

I think it will be a very open game with opportunities to score at both ends. Both Rashford and Haaland more than capable of creating chances and scoring. Although I’m from the red part of Manchester, I find it difficult to predict anything other than a blue win. But, it’s one game, ninety minutes, eleven men v eleven men and you just never know! Maybe, just maybe, Ten Hag will finish with two trophies in his cabinet come the end of the season!