Sutton’s FA Cup final predictions featuring Blossoms & Blitz Vega

Sutton's PredictionsBBC Sport

The 143rd FA Cup final is the second in a row to be an all-Manchester affair, but will it be holders City or 12-time winners United who get to lift the famous trophy at Wembley this weekend?

We asked BBC Sport’s football expert Chris Sutton for his prediction, as well as some famous fans of both teams.

“There is not anyone out there who genuinely thinks Manchester United will beat Manchester City,” Sutton said. “United are hoping they can win, which is different, but there is no evidence to suggest that is what will happen.”

Do you agree? From a Blues perspective, Blossoms frontman Tom Ogden and Better Joy’s Bria Keely have had their say.

Giving the Red Devils’ point of view is Blitz Vega guitarist Kav Sandhu.

You can make your own prediction too, here. Remember, there is no replay – the game will be decided on Saturday, after extra time and penalties if required.

Chris Sutton was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

SUTTON’S FA CUP FINAL PREDICTION

SATURDAY, 25 MAY

Man City v Man Utd

BBC Sport

Man City v Man Utd (15:00 BST)

Watch live on BBC One and the BBC website from 13:50. Live commentary on Radio 5 Live.

Premier League (1st)

v

Premier League (8th)

Who did they beat?

SF: Chelsea (PL) N

SF: Coventry (C) N

6R: Newcastle (PL) H

6R: Liverpool (PL) H

5R: Luton (PL) A

5R: Nott’m Forest (PL) A

4R: Tottenham (PL) A

4R: Newport County (L2) A

3R: Huddersfield (C) H

3R: Wigan (L1) A

Chris Sutton: Bruno Fernandes is going to be key for United. I have criticised him in the past but if he plays, at least they carry a threat against the Premier League champions.

United have got other players who, if they have their moments, can hurt City but we all know how this game is going to pan out – the only way United can win is if they play on the counter-attack.

They won’t go toe to toe with City, they can’t. Maybe this is Erik ten Hag’s last stand.

Blitz Vega guitarist and United fan Kav: Bruno has been our best player this season and we’ve missed him since he’s been out of the team. A lot of people knock him, but he’s the one player who can make the difference on Saturday.

I am not sure about Ten Hag, but I don’t think there are many options out there. Obviously if Don Carlo [Ancelotti] was available, I’d bring him in for a couple of seasons, but I think it’s more important we clear out the players who shouldn’t be there.

With the new infrastructure, Ten Hag should be given another season, but without the responsibility of signing players.

Blitz Vega's bassist Andy Rourke (right), who died in May 2023, and former Happy Mondays guitarist Kav Sandhu

Blitz Vega

Chris Sutton: I have some sympathy for Ten Hag because his United team have been so depleted at the back by injuries, but the bottom line is I think he is likely to leave the club this summer.

Mauricio Pochettino leaving Chelsea has opened up another sort of avenue for United because I don’t think anyone is quite sure who Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group are targeting – or if they are even targeting anyone – but it still looks to me like this will be Ten Hag’s last game as United manager.

Better Joy’s Bria Keely: It would be sick to get the Double after last season’s Treble, and keep the city blue! It’s always fun – mostly for us – watching it with friends and family who are United fans – some of them are so easy to wind up, it’s brilliant!

Chris Sutton: At the start of this season, the talk was about United getting closer to City after finishing 14 points behind them in 2022-23. That was logical but the gap has actually got even bigger and has grown to 31 points.

Ten Hag made progress in his first year in the job but there has been an alarming drop-off this time.

He said a couple of weeks back that United were one of the most entertaining and dynamic teams to watch in the Premier League – what utter rubbish. With the greatest respect to him, I don’t know what he was talking about.

They have fallen away and regressed, and everyone can see it. United could somehow win this one-off game, but there is still a huge gulf between the two teams even if they do.

Bria Keely (l) at Manchester City's Treble-winning parade in 2023 and (r) on stage with Better Joy

Bria Keely

Chris Sutton: What Pep Guardiola has done at City is nothing short of remarkable, and not just because of how much he has won. He has been so adaptable, season after season, with the way he has evolved the team so they play a slightly different way each time.

Blossoms frontman and City fan Tom Ogden: At the moment, City’s best player has to be Phil Foden, we’ve all been talking about his potential for the last few years, and I think this season he’s really come to the forefront and delivered. In the absence of Kevin de Bruyne, Phil stepped up and has been unbelievable.

Better Joy’s Bria Keely: Foden is world class and so silky smooth! He always delivers under pressure so will absolutely make a difference for us on Saturday.

Chris Sutton: Look, United have a chance, a puncher’s chance, if City have an off day and they miss opportunities and if Andre Onana plays well – but the United players will have to raise their game to a level which we probably haven’t seen this season.

In any given game, the question is do United have the players, the team and the set-up to compete with City? You would have to say that if they played each other 100 times, you would fancy City in probably 95 of them, if not more. That’s how much better they are.

Blossoms

Blosssoms

Chris Sutton: The only thing that could probably stop City is if they have carried on partying after winning the Premier League on Sunday. They seemed to have been hitting it quite hard.

When they met in last year’s FA Cup final, City had the Champions League final to focus on as well. This time, this is their last game so City can give it their all – and then carry on celebrating.

Blossoms frontman and City fan Tom Ogden: City will win. Just from seeing the momentum the team have gathered during this final few weeks of the seasons, and also with the disappointment of the Champions League exit, they will be wanting to be the first team to do the League and FA Cup Double for the second time in a row!

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Blitz Vega guitarist and United fan Kav: It’s so hard to look past City. They’re an incredible team who always seem to deliver. They’re winners; exceptional players with a winning focus that has been instilled in them by one of the greatest managers in history.

This is the FA Cup though, and if these United players have any pride, even if it’s just because they’re fighting to get a move somewhere else, they have the potential to get the win. My head says City, but I’ll go with my heart!

Better Joy’s Bria Keely: Silly question, really – obviously City will win. We’re too good under pressure.

Chris Sutton: If City lose, it would be one of the biggest FA Cup shocks ever, and yet it is the mighty Manchester United who are trying to cause it.

I know that sounds ridiculous, and you can call me an idiot if you like, I don’t mind… but if you think about what City are like in these situations, it would be a huge shock, wouldn’t it?

We know their mindset and we have seen how they keep winning when they are on the home straight in the Premier League title race. This is exactly the same.

What makes it exciting is that it is a one-off game and a derby, because everyone talks about the magic of the FA Cup in scenarios like this but, when you strip everything back, the bottom line is that there can only be one winner.

FA Cup final predictions

Who?

Who will win?

Chris Sutton

City 3-1

Blossoms frontman Tom Ogden

City 2-0

Blitz Vega guitarist Kav

Utd 3-2

Better Joy’s Bria Keely

City 3-1

How did Sutton do on the final day of the Premier League season?

Sutton got seven correct results, with no exact scores, from the 10 Premier League games in week 38, giving him 70 points.

He beat Gladiators star and Arsenal fan Legend, who got six correct results with no exact scores, leaving him with a total of 60 points – although his predictions for the games involving Manchester City and Tottenham were based on what he wanted to happen rather than what he thought would transpire.

The win was Sutton’s 21st of the season and this was the second year in a row where he beat his guests overall.

“I am a bit like City, really,” he said. “I feel like I’ve won very easily this season. Who is going to stop me?”

Guest leaderboard 2023-24

Luke Littler

170

Anthony Joshua

150

Ross from Twin Atlantic

140

Eddie Hearn

130

Nathan Aspinall, CBeebies presenter Rhys Stephenson

120

Barry Can’t Swim

110

Anish Kumar

100

Andy Bell from Ride, UB40 drummer Jimmy Brown, Fabian Edwards, Joelah from 1Xtra, KSI, Franklin star Daniel Mays, Midas the Jagaban

90

Jermain Defoe, ‘Hollywood’ Chris Dobey, Songer

80

Chris Sutton

77 (average after 38 weeks)

David Earl, Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill, Steve Queralt from Ride, Keke from 1Xtra, Jazzie Zonzolo

70

Dave from The Zutons, Gladiators star Legend, Tommy Fury, Joe from Nothing But Thieves, Sam from Twin Atlantic

60

Gabe of Jamie Johnson FC, Ed Leigh, Tash from The Football Academy, Sam Tompkins, Matthew Vaughn, Rick Witter

50

Gladiators star Bionic, AEW wrestler Claudio Castagnoli, Tom Ogden and Joe Donovan from Blossoms, Declan McKenna, JayO

40

Jericho Ridge star Zack Morris, Vigil star Dougray Scott, Felix White, Anna Friedberg and Emily Linden from Friedberg

30

Willie J Healey, Bria Keely of Better Joy

20

Suggs, Future Islands frontman Samuel T Herring

10

Total scores after week 38

Chris Sutton

2,920

Guests

2,700

Sutton v guests

P38

W21

D7

L10

How did you get on?

You finished the season with a flourish – the only game you got wrong was Manchester United’s win at Brighton, where only 30% of you backed United.

Overall, you finished 12 points clear of Chris, and were correct with 58% of your predictions this season.

You v Chris & the guests – week 38

1. You

9/10

2. Chris

7/10

3. Guests

6/10

*Win, draw, loss prediction based on highest % of vote for each match.

Total scores after week 38

1. You

220/380

2. Chris

208/380

3. Guests

196/380

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