Porous Defense Lends Value to Total in FA Cup Final

The final of the FA Cup will come in the form of a Manchester derby for the second time in a row this year. Manchester City plays Manchester United at Wembley Stadium for their chance to repeat as FA Cup winners. City can also complete the double for the third time in their history. Read on for an expert Man City vs Man United betting prediction and explore tips and stats for FA Cup odds in 2024.

  • Manchester City vs Manchester United 
  • FA Cup Final
  • Saturday, May 25, 2024
  • 10 AM EST
  • Wembley Stadium, London, England
  • ESPN+

FA Cup Odds for 2024 Final

Manchester City, recent victors of the Premier League, will enter Wembley as massive favorites to repeat their domestic double. The Citizens are (-305) favorites to win in the initial 90 minutes over their neighborly rivals. United will look to exact revenge as (+745) favorites, with a draw forcing extra time available at (+475).

FA CupBetOnline ReviewBetUS ReviewBovadaXBet ReviewMyBookie Review
Man City-305-325-305-310-310
Man United+745+700+675+700+700

Want to better understand the 3-way moneyline (1X2) market? See our soccer betting tips and learn about English Premier League betting sites.

Manchester United Team News and Latest Results

Erik ten Hag has been under considerable duress from the Red Devil faithful for his managing of their beloved club this season. The campaign ended in an 8th-place finish despite championship aspirations prior to its beginning. Next season’s European competitions will go on without Manchester United unless they are to win on Saturday. FA Cup winners are granted qualification to the Europa League group stages, but nothing is guaranteed for runners-up.

Most of Manchester United’s struggles have been in the rearguard, where injuries to key center-backs have forced significant changes. The foremost of such adjustments is the placement of Casemiro to the backline, which has proven to be a difficult transition for the Brazilian. Ten Hag’s “bend don’t break” style hasn’t returned dividends either. United has given up a record amount of shots this season, leaving keeper Onana to take on an arguably unfair share of the criticism. 

It remains to be seen if Erik ten Hag will remain at Manchester United following the completion of this season. Major figures like Jose Mourinho have been linked to the job’s potential opening, but perhaps an FA Cup victory for the Red Devils will prevent such a fate. Alas, that situation would be eerily similar to when Louis van Gaal was replaced by Mourinho in 2016 after winning the FA Cup. 

Manchester UnitedTo Win
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Will Manchester City Win the FA Cup?

Manchester City are at the brink of hoisting up yet another piece of silverware this weekend. Their victory over West Ham on Championship Sunday clinched their 6th Premier League title in the last 7 years, all under Pep Guardiola. Indeed, Guardiola’s City have won 17 trophies during his reign. The success has become so plentiful that boredom has begun to creep in for the Catalonian former midfielder. Pep has expressed hesitation about continuing with the club for much longer.

Now in back-to-back FA Cup finals, there is little left that Manchester City has not conquered. While soccer fans have grown weary of their success, the soon-to-be 24-year-old Phil Foden has assured he enjoys it just the same. The City winger was instrumental in their 3-1 win on Sunday, scoring two goals including a gem in the 2nd minute of action. His strike seemed to have eased nerves and allowed City to play to their strengths, controlling possession for a majority of the game.

While possession is certainly valued by Guardiola, it is without the ball when United seem to play at their best. Recent wins over Newcastle and Brighton featured more possession for their opponents, and in their losses to Arsenal and Crystal Palace the opposite occurred. This may be due to United’s struggles building out the back, but could also be their strengths in the counter-attack, with pacey forwards like Rashford and Hojlund excelling in those moments. Game flow may dictate how Guardiola proceeds in this specific match.

Manchester CityTo Win
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FA Cup Odds, Manchester United Betting Prediction

Derbies are always a bit more difficult to handicap, as their fiery nature leads to greater unpredictability and more volatile results. Patterns detected throughout a season can be thrown out the window in these types of games, yet their head-to-head records can still provide a glimpse of how each club matches up against the other. In the case of this exclusively Manchester fixture, it has been extremely tilted towards the east end of the city.

City have claimed victory in 6 of their last 7 meetings, including most notably in the 2023 FA Cup Final. This season, City won at Old Trafford 3-0 and at the Etihad 3-1. Manchester City have combined for 48 total shots and 7.33 expected goals alone in those affairs. And on each of the last 6 occasions, the total of these fixtures has failed to go under 3 goals.

With these stats in mind, it would be wise to consider betting on yet another Manchester City blowout. Yet United have shown their propensity for goal-scoring in this competition, and City have not been as dominant defensively as some might think. And with no aggregate goals rule in this one-off showpiece event, City would be inclined to sit on a lead if they are fortunate to hold one late in the game. With that in mind, I prefer targeting the totals market. 

A wager on the over is a no-brainer here given United’s presumed pleasure with conceding as many shots as possible. I will pay a little bit more to get the round number of 3 in the event of a 2-1 or 3-0 holdout late, but I like the chances of this match hitting 4 or more goals much more than a low-scoring final. It is simply not how these two sides like to play soccer.

Over 3Total Goals
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Will Chace

From Boston, Will's passion for sports is more of a hereditary characteristic than a learned hobby. Besides rooting for his hometown teams, he follows MMA heavily and will consume just about any sports-related content. In college, Will combined his passion for sports and writing as a journalist. Now, he provides detailed betting analysis to help others profit off their sports knowledge too. Will spots insights casual fans may miss and delivers his guidance in a direct, no-nonsense style. In his downtime, you can find him unwinding on the couch and watching foreign film classics.