Man City vs Man Utd teams confirmed for FA Cup final as Erik ten Hag makes Casemiro call

Manchester United have dropped Casemiro for the FA Cup final, while Marcus Rashford will lead the line alongside Bruno Fernandes and Alejandro Garnacho.

Casemiro had been filling in at centre-back in recent weeks, but Raphael Varane will partner Lisandro Martinez in what will be his final game for United. Varane announced last week that he would be leaving the club after the final.

Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag initially named Casemiro on the bench, but he has since been replaced by Willy Kambwala after picking up a muscle issue while warming up. Ten Hag has also decided against starting striker Rasmus Hojlund, who will be hoping to make an impact as a substitute.

As a result, Fernandes is expected to play as a false nine with Rashford and Garnacho out wide. Rashford in particular will have a point to prove after he was axed from England's Euro 2024 squad by Gareth Southgate.

City have also made three changes for the final, with John Stones, Nathan Ake and Mateo Kovacic replacing Ruben Dias, Manuel Akanji and Jeremy Doku. It will be Stones' first start in five weeks.

"Everyone plays such a big part and you're called upon when the manager wants and we couldn't do it without the squad," Stones told the BBC ahead of the game. "I'm glad to be here in such a big game and hopefully we can get the job done.

"You have to celebrate when you achieve such big things and break records but it's about getting the balance right to be ready for this big game against our rivals. We're so good at knowing what's expected of us as a team, what we represent and what we're trying to achieve and that's the biggest motivator that we've got.

man city vs man utd teams confirmed for fa cup final as erik ten hag makes casemiro call

John Stones makes his first Manchester City start in five weeks

"It doesn't matter what form either team is in, playing good or badly, it's a derby game at Wembley and we know their threats and weaknesses and I'm sure it's likewise for them. It's a big occasion and I'm sure we will handle it and hopefully come out on top."

Ten Hag, meanwhile, said: "Two years after each other we're in the final but this year we want to win. The mood is very good, strong spirit, strong belief, a tough opponent and we have to give everything we have, sacrifice, suffer but be brave and let them suffer as well.

"We have to be on the front foot and be aggressive. It's about mentality. If we have a strong belief and are brave then you have the opportunity. We had the opportunity last year but didn't take it. Casemiro is not 100% and in that space around Phil Foden we need a strong defence."

Manchester City XI: Ortega, Walker, Stones, Ake, Gvardiol, Rodrigo, Kovacic, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Foden, Haaland

Manchester United XI: Onana, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Dalot, Amrabat, Mainoo, Garnacho, McTominay, Fernandes, Rashford

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