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The Opposition – Manchester United

United face City for the second time in eight days as they try to stop the blues from making their first Wembley appearance since 1981.

The red half of Manchester will be eager to stop the blues in their tracks as they attempt to reach the final themselves and defend the trophy they won last year against Spurs.

United have endured an indifferent season, having lost five games before Christmas including an embarrassing 1-0 defeat at new boys Burnley in their first away game. They have progressed in the Champions League but defeat at home to League One side Leeds United has put a little pressure on the champions to improve their performances.

Off the field, United have been dogged by continual protests against the Glazer family, who have been reported to be using substantial amounts of United’s money to pay off their huge debts which many supporters believe is the reason why United have failed to strengthen in the transfer market together with selling their star asset Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid while failing to come up with the £25m required for Carlos Tevez, who later joined City.

Manager –Sir Alex Ferguson


SAF has been in charge of United since November 1986 but could easily have been sacked three years later as the reds flirted near the wrong end of the table. Only a successful FA Cup run, which ended by beating Crystal Palace 1-0 in the final (after a replay) saved Ferguson’s job and he later went on to become one of the most successful managers in English football.

Ferguson was knighted in 1999 for his services to the game.

Ground – Old Trafford


United’s ground currently resides in the borough of Trafford, a point regularly made by City’s die hard fans. Its current capacity is 76,212.

Star Player – Wayne Rooney


The former Everton star signed for United from Everton in 2004 for £25.6m.

United Facts


United were formed in 1898 under the name Newton Heath and, after playing their games at North Road, moved to Bank Street in Clayton, which is now occupied by the Manchester Cycling Velodrome and across the road from Eastlands.

United have played all but one season in the top flight since 1938. The only time they played outside the top level was during the 1974/75 season when Denis Law back-heeled them into the second division.

SAF is known for playing mind games with his opponents, none more so than Kevin Keegan, who ranted how much he would ‘love it’ if his Newcastle side beat United.

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