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Paul Merson dropped major Man City vs Man Utd scoreline prediction for FA Cup final as he makes ‘shocked’ claim

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Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has dropped his telling scoreline prediction for Manchester United’s forthcoming FA Cup final showdown with Manchester City at Wembley.

Manchester United play their final match of the 2023-24 season on Saturday, with kick-off for the FA Cup final slated for 3pm UK time.

Erik ten Hag’s men reached their second consecutive FA Cup final after the Red Devils avoided an FA Cup upset against Coventry City in the semi-finals last month.

United fell short of the FA Cup trophy in Erik ten Hag’s debut season at Old Trafford, with the Red Devils suffering a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City at Wembley in 2023.

City, meanwhile, retained the Premier League title for the fourth consecutive season and reached the FA Cup final after a 1-0 win over Chelsea in the semi-finals.

READ MORE: Erik ten Hag told one Man Utd star could be difference maker vs Man City in FA Cup final if he ‘steps up’

Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City comes out of technical to speak to Bernardo Silva of Manchester City with Erik ten Hag, Manager of Manche...

Photo by Will Palmer/Sportsphoto/Allstar Via Getty Images

Merson talks Man Utd and Ten Hag

Erik ten Hag has endured a turbulent second season at Manchester United, with the Red Devils finishing eighth in the Premier League table.

The Premier League club will be without Champions League football next season and Ten Hag’s long-term future at Old Trafford remains shrouded in mystery.

The 54-year-old Dutchman’s spell at United has been cast in uncertainty after the arrival of Ineos chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe as co-owner of the Red Devils.

Speaking in his column for Sportskeeda, Paul Merson insisted that United need to “make up their mind” on Ten Hag’s future after the FA Cup final.

The Sky Sports pundit opened up on the problems with squad depth in the United first team and how the Red Devils desperately need to strengthen certain positions.

“They probably need a centre-half to play alongside Lisandro Martinez,” he wrote.

“I thought the Argentine would struggle in the Premier League due to his size, but he was really impressive in his first season and really proved me wrong.

“Andre Onana hasn’t performed well enough to justify his hype, and they don’t have a go-to man in midfield, while as good as a talent as Rasmus Hojlund is, I doubt he is ready to lead the line yet.

“They need to make up their mind about Erik ten Hag by Monday and think about the next steps, as suddenly, Pochettino is available and was once wanted by Ineos at Nice.

“I’m not sure how that ended, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they swiftly move for him if they decide to part ways with Ten Hag.”

READ MORE: Baffled Paul Merson reacts to ‘huge news’ that experienced Man Utd star won’t play at Euro 2024, he ‘would have taken him’

Ten Hag’s United side faces an uphill task in defying the odds and beating City in the FA Cup final at Wembley this weekend.

The Red Devils have struggled with a lack of consistency in the current season and have underwhelmed at times with their performances under Ten Hag.

Merson insisted that City are a “well-oiled machine” and their “mentality is phenomenal” under manager Pep Guardiola.

The 56-year-old Arsenal hero has offered United “no chance” in the FA Cup final and would be “shocked” if they won, with Merson backing a 3-0 scoreline for City.

“Coming back to the game, Manchester City are too good a team to slack off and show up to the game hungover from their title celebrations,” Merson added.

“They are a well-oiled machine and their mentality is phenomenal, I couldn’t talk highly enough of them.

“I’d be shocked if Manchester United got anywhere close to winning this one, but they need to score first to have any chance of getting their hands on the trophy.

“A few years ago, Manchester United always had the counter-attacking threat to cause City problems, and they got a handful of results over their local rivals, but this time, I give them no chance.”

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