De Bruyne, Grealish ready for City's FA Cup showdown with United

De Bruyne, Grealish ready for City’s FA Cup showdown with United

Pep Guardiola says Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish are fit to help Manchester City chase the treble in their FA Cup final against Manchester United on Saturday.

De Bruyne, Grealish, Ruben Dias and Manuel Akanji all missed City’s last Premier League game at Brentford last week.

But City boss Guardiola revealed on Friday that the quartet had returned to training and were expected to feature in the first all-Manchester FA Cup final at Wembley.

“They have trained well in the last two training sessions. They are all more or less good,” he said.

Guardiola confirmed Stefan Ortega will start in goal against United in place of regular first-choice keeper Ederson.

Ortega has not conceded a goal in the FA Cup this season, having started two of City’s last three league games.

It’s a bold move from Guardiola, whose side are two wins away from becoming only the second English club – since United in 1999 – to win the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in the same season.

“Stefan is going to play. I’ve always been like that in the FA Cup. A keeper who has played in the FA Cup is going to play in the FA Cup final,” Guardiola said.

Although City clinched the title with a run of 12 league wins in a row and finished 14 points clear of United, Guardiola has no intention of underestimating Erik ten Haag’s side.

United beat City 2-1 in January, avenging their 6-3 defeat earlier in the campaign, and ended their six-year trophy drought by winning the League Cup in February.

Guardiola has been impressed by Ten Haag’s work in his first season at Old Trafford.

“I look at a manager by how his team improves. When you see a team getting better and better, in a league that is not easy, you recognize a really good manager,” he said.

“He represents our profession in the best possible way. I can’t say we’re friends, we don’t communicate much, but I think United have had an exceptional manager for many, many years.”

If City beat United, they can complete the treble in the Champions League final against Inter Milan in Istanbul on June 10.

But Guardiola urged his players not to look ahead to their bid for a first Champions League crown.

He said, thinking about the second or third title, we have to analyze the strengths of our opponents, see their weaknesses.

“Everything on the side is normal, you can’t control it. It’s special in itself but what United have done over the last five months means they are a completely different team.

“When we lost they were good but we played well. I think they have improved, the patterns of play are clearer.

“We’ve done really, really well against them in my time but it’s United, the quality of players is always there.”

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