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Manchester City logo
FA Cup | Final
May 25, 2024 at 3pm UK
Wembley Stadium
Manchester United logo

Man City
1 - 2
Man Utd

Doku (87')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Garnacho (30'), Mainoo (39')
Mainoo (45'), Alvarez (90+7'), McTominay (90+5')

Erik ten Hag 'considers dropping 32-year-old for FA Cup final'

Erik ten Hag 'considers dropping 32-year-old for FA Cup final'
© Reuters
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag reportedly considers dropping Casemiro for Saturday's FA Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is reportedly considering dropping one of the Red Devils' serial silverware winners for Saturday's FA Cup final against Manchester City.

During the Dutchman's debut campaign, Casemiro formed a highly effective midfield partnership with fellow new arrival Christian Eriksen as the Red Devils marched to EFL Cup glory.

Even though Eriksen has slipped down the pecking order this season, Casemiro has remained a mainstay of the Man United XI, often partnering the embryonic Kobbie Mainoo in the middle.

However, there has been a noticeable drop-off in the 32-year-old's performances this term, particularly when he has been asked to fill in as a central defender during the Red Devils' injury crisis.

Casemiro occupied such a role in the FA Cup semi-final with Coventry City, where Ten Hag's men blew a three-goal lead and nearly lost in extra time only to scrape through via a penalty shootout.

Manchester United's Casemiro reacts on May 12, 2024© Reuters

Casemiro's spot 'in doubt for FA Cup final'

The former Real Madrid man was a standout performer in Man United's final match of the Premier League season, though, playing a pivotal role in their clean sheet in a 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

Despite his praiseworthy display at the Amex Stadium, The Athletic claims that his starting place is in serious danger for the Wembley trip, as he has been missing from the expected first XI in training sessions this week.

As a result, some of his Man United teammates are supposedly under the impression that Casemiro will be among the substitutes from the first whistle, in spite of the fact that he completed the full 90 in each of the Red Devils' final eight Premier League games of the season.

The report alleges that the Red Devils squad are not entirely happy with the proposed decision to axe Casemiro from the starting lineup, as the Brazil international has won a staggering 21 major trophies for club and country during his distinguished career.

Casemiro has come up with five goals and three assists in 32 matches for Man United during the 2023-24 campaign and has two years left to run on his contract, but he has been strongly linked with a summer exit.

Who could replace Casemiro at Wembley?

Manchester United's Sofyan Amrabat on September 26, 2023© Reuters

Each of Casemiro's final six Premier League starts for Man United in 2023-24 came as a centre-back, and he was chosen to partner the fit-again Lisandro Martinez at the Amex.

Martinez - Man United's most important central defender - is now seemingly nailed-on to begin the FA Cup final, and even though Harry Maguire will not be fit for the match, Ten Hag is still spoiled for choice when it comes to out-and-out centre-backs.

Both Jonny Evans and Raphael Varane were able to come off the bench in the second half of the Brighton win, while Victor Lindelof has also been spotted in training this week after a thigh concern. Teenage starlet Willy Kambwala is an alternative pick.

Further forward, Ten Hag is apparently leaning towards the midfield pairing of Mainoo and Sofyan Amrabat - the duo he selected from the off against Brighton - as the latter has belatedly found his feet at Man United.

Consistently struggling to impose himself since arriving on loan from Fiorentina, Amrabat put in strong shifts against Arsenal, Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion and could now make his final start for the club before heading back to Italy.

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