Man City vs Man United- Man United Lineups

4 potential tactical changes Erik ten Hag could make to his team ahead of Man City vs Man United FA Cup Final

As Manchester United gear up to face Manchester City in the FA Cup Final (Man City vs Man United) on Saturday, May 25, Erik ten Hag’s possible approach for the match has come under major scrutiny. It is no secret the Red Devils have had injury woes plague their entire season. However, with a trophy at stake, ten Hag will need to optimise his resources to give his team a chance to win.

Having won the FA Cup last year, Manchester City will be eager to repeat the feat. However, Manchester United, too, will look to forget their Premier League season with a trophy in hand. Without further ado, let’s take a look at Man United lineups with four scenarios for ten Hag to deal with tactically.

4. Sticking with Bruno Fernandes as the ‘False Nine’

Man City vs Man United
Fernandes is crucial to Manchester United’s style. (Getty Images)

Having used this tactic in United’s last two games, it would be no surprise to see Erik ten Hag deploy a trusted player in the ‘false nine’ role. Putting the Portuguese in that role naturally elevates his game as it allows him to have more of a say in proceedings with greater possession of the ball.

With City playing a heavy possession-based style, United will need energy off the ball, which Bruno Fernandes can offer. Additionally, having young and energetic wingers Alejandro Garnacho and Amad Diallo on the flanks could help the Red Devils press better.

Possible Formation – 4-1-2-1-2: Onana (GK); Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Dalot; Casemiro; Mainoo, McTominay; Fernandes; Amad, Garnacho.

3. Accommodating Rasmus Hojlund if he is fit

Hojlund is the only out-and-out striker Manchester United have and they could use his directness and the quality of his runs. The Dane scored off the bench in each of his last two appearances, which could force ten Hag to strongly consider picking him.

Having scored 16 goals this season, Hojlund is United’s top scorer. He will look to make a mark in what is the biggest game of his career so far, forming an energetic and youthful frontline alongside Garnacho and Amad.

Possible Formation – 4-3-3: Onana (GK); Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Dalot; Mainoo, Casemiro, Fernandes; Amad, Hojlund, Garnacho.

2. Marcus Rashford returns to the fray

Man City vs Man United
United will hope Rashford is available. (Getty Images)

Should star forward Marcus Rashford be included in the lineup, he will start from his preferred left side, with Alejandro Garnacho moving over to the right flank, and Amad dropping to the bench. Rashford will be eager to prove Gareth Southgate wrong after the latter excluded him from the provisional squad for Euro 2024.

Rashford has shown his ability to perform in big games on several occasions and would be a no-brainer to pick him for a cup final. Despite not being at his absolute best for the Red Devils, Rashford has had a decent season with eight goals and five assists in 42 appearances.

Possible Formation – 4-1-2-3: Onana (GK); Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Dalot; Casemiro; Mainoo, Fernandes; Garnacho, Hojlund, Rashford.

1. Playing Fernades out wide to accommodate an extra midfielder

As he did in the FA Cup Final last season, Erik ten Hag could start Bruno Fernandes out wide due to his added intangibles. The Portuguese show an immense work-rate to make forward runs and also track back to help defend. He also possesses the ability to play line-breaking passes, which can be executed better from angles in wide areas.

However, since this tactic has not been deployed much this season, it is quite unlikely ten Hag will make a change for one match. Should he do it, though, Garnacho and Hojlund will be tasked with completing the frontline.

Possible Formation – 4-3-3: Onana (GK); Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Dalot; Mainoo, Casemiro, McTominay; Fernandes, Hojlund, Garnacho.