Kovacic return and Bernardo start - Man City predicted XI vs Manchester United ahead of FA Cup final

Manchester City midfielder Mateo Kovacic
-Credit: (Image: James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images)


Manchester City are potentially just 90 minutes away from securing a domestic double this season when they take on fierce rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup final.

Pep Guardiola's side have been the model of consistency and professionalism this season which can be proven by their fourth consecutive Premier League title success. Any hope from United that City may be nursing the effects of a hangover from last week's celebrations is perhaps misguided.

A 23-man squad made its way down to London on Friday and it appears the Blues have nearly a full squad to choose from for the big game this afternoon. With this in mind, MEN Sport has had a go at predicting the starting line-up.

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Goalkeeper - Stefan Ortega

While we did say that City had nearly a full squad to choose from, one absentee is Ederson. The Brazilian has a fractured eye socket so cannot feature but he has joined his teammates on the trip down to Wembley for moral support.

In his absence, Ortega has proven himself to be a more than capable replacement and is almost guaranteed to start ahead of Scott Carson or youngster True Grant.

Defenders - Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, Manuel Akanji, Josko Gvardiol

It would be hard to drop any of these four men at present so we are not going to. Nathan Ake's injury at Fulham has ultimately cost him a starting place in the final but we can probably expect to see the Dutchman come off the bench when the defence needs freshening up.

Midfielders - Rodri, Mateo Kovacic, Kevin De Bruyne

Our only change from the victory over West Ham United would be the change of formation which sees Kovacic return to the starting XI. Interestingly, Guardiola opted to bring Jeremy Doku into the squad on Sunday because he expected the Iron to drop deep.

But, we expect the Catalonian to be slightly cautious of the attacking threat United pose so bringing the former Chelsea man back into the team seems a wise move.

Forwards - Bernardo Silva, Erling Haaland, Phil Foden

As you can see, Doku is the man to drop to the bench again but only because this current forward line is too strong to break up. Foden is the first name on the teamsheet at present while Bernardo has been consistently excellent this season.

Haaland will be eager to bag a goal against an opponent he enjoys facing so we can expect him to be a threat from the off.

Manchester City's predicted XI vs Manchester United
Manchester City's predicted XI vs Manchester United -Credit:Pick your team