Erik ten Hag has enjoyed a strong first campaign at Old Trafford, ending the club’s six-year wait for a trophy by winning the Carabao Cup in February, and securing a Premier League top-four finish.
The Dutch boss is now aiming to clinch United’s first FA Cup crown since 2016 and stop City from potentially matching the Red Devils’ iconic 1999 trophy treble.However, despite the positivity of another trip to Wembley, Ten Hag faces a key injury call over Brazil international Antony. The winger was hurt in the 4-1 win over Chelsea on May 25 and was taken off on a stretcher.
Is Antony playing in FA Cup final vs Man City?With Lisandro Martinez, Marcel Sabitzer and Antony Martial already ruled out, the loss of Antony would be a blow to Ten Hag’s plans against Man City.
However, it seems the former Ajax star has a chance of playing in the match at Wembley despite Ten Hag initially fearing the injury was “serious”. Any decision on his involvement will likely be left to as late as possible.
The 23-year-old was carried off on a stretcher in the first half of United’s 4-1 Premier League win over Chelsea on May 25 with what appeared to be a season-ending ankle injury.
He missed the final Premier League game of the season, as United beat Fulham 2-1 at Old Trafford, but Ten Hag is confident the damage is not as bad as first feared.
“We’ve all seen how he came off and didn’t look great. But the first assessment is not too bad and there’s a good opportunity he will available for the cup final,” he told MUTV.
Alejandro Garnacho replaced Antony against Fulham, and if Ten Hag opts against starting him against City, the teenager could keep his place.
Antony’s first season at Man United
Antony followed Ten Hag from Ajax at the start of the 2022/23 season after United agreed an £82 million/$102 million fee to bring him to Old Trafford.
The deal is the most expensive in United history other than the £89.3m paid for Paul Pogba in 2016, and Antony found himself under pressure to perform from the campaign kickoff.
His overall statistics hint at a tough first year in English football, with just four goals and two assists from 25 appearances.
However, for every moment of ineffective showboating — see his 720-degree spin and pass to nowhere against Sheriff Tiraspol in October — there have been some high points.
A debut goal in a win against against Arsenal won him some instant acclaim amongst the Old Trafford faithful, but his best moment came with a superb winner against Barcelona in the Europa League playoff second leg in February — a strike that was named the club’s goal of the season.
Antony’s Man United injury record
Antony has missed key points of United’s season with previous injuries as a muscle problem sidelined him for five games in the build-up to the 2022 World Cup break.
After returning from Qatar, he suffered a calf strain in United’s 2-1 home in over Crystal Palace in February and sat out four further matches, with his season total set at 10 games missed through injury.