Preview: Erik ten Hag seeks third final in two years as Reds take on Coventry City

Manchester United are looking to book their place in the FA Cup final on Sunday.

Wembley Stadium braces itself for a big weekend in the football calendar as the FA Cup semi-finals take place. The first of the two semi-finals will take place on Saturday between current trophy holders Man City and Chelsea, followed by Coventry vs Manchester United the following day.

The winners of these games will face off in a Wembley final scheduled for 25 May.

Chelsea will be attempting to secure a final berth for the sixth time in eight years, but they face a formidable opponent in Man City, who crashed out of the Champions League during the week after losing to Real Madrid on penalties.

The game we’ll be focusing on sees Coventry City as the underdog. However, United haven’t been good this season and Erik ten Hag’s players cannot afford to underestimate our Championship opponents.

Coventry City are currently eighth in the Championship and their fans will be dreaming of a repeat of 1987 when they lifted the FA Cup.

Ten Hag’s side reached the final of this competition last season and were beaten by City and there is every chance that fixture is repeated this year. It has been a frustrating season for the Reds, sitting seventh in the Premier League with our hopes of Champions League qualification in serious doubt following a four-match winless run.

United can have no excuses if they fail to win this weekend, with Coventry returning to Wembley for the first time since they were beaten in the play-off final by Luton Town last season.

In order to reach the FA Cup semi-finals, United beat Liverpool in an incredible cup tie at Old Trafford and Coventry sparked an update by scoring twice in stoppage-time against Wolves.

Coventry won the last meeting (2007) between the two sides, a 2-0 victory at Old Trafford in the League Cup.

When is the match?

Coventry vs Manchester United will kick off at 3.30 pm BST on Sunday, April 21.

How to watch Coventry vs Manchester United

The game will be shown live on ITV1. Alternatively, you can stream the match on ITVX.

Coverage begins at 2:30 pm – an hour before kick-off.

Team News

Coventry will be without Tatsuhiro Sakamoto and Jamie Allen.

Ellis Simms, who Amad Diallo played with at Sunderland last term, is expected to lead the line. He has scored five goals in the FA Cup this season and will be one to keep an eye on.

Embed from Getty Images

On the other hand, United have an array of injuries going into this one. The list includes Victor Lindelof, Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane, Jonny Evans, Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia and Anthony Martial.

Antony is likely to return to the squad after missing United’s 2-2 draw at Bournemouth.

Sign of progress

I’m well aware that the football we’ve seen this season has not been good enough, but I think many have been quick to forget how Ten Hag’s side overachieved in his first season as manager.

However, if United reach the FA Cup final this season, it will see Ten Hag reach his third final since becoming United manager in 2022.

Let’s rally behind the lads at Wembley and try to end the campaign on a high!


Ultimately, I think United will have too much for Coventry.

Our form this season has been terrible, but I still think it would take something special from Mark Robins’ Coventry side if they were to knock us out.

Coventry have lost three of their last four Championship matches and their cup run looks likely to end here.

Coventry City 0-3 Manchester United

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  1. Dale – one year exactly before ETH got the job, united got 74 points and lost on pens in the europa league final.

    ETH spent 400m and apparently getting the same amount of points and a league cup is miles better than what the club achieved 1 year prior? – i won’t even talk about this season.

    do any of you at SN know anything about football? bizarre you get an invite to BBC, but then so do Paddock.

    1. Dave – Ten Hag hasn’t had a proper structure built around him (yet), but he still managed to overachieve last season. You seem quick to forget that as well as the injuries we’ve had this season. Not to forget the bumps along the way that were caused by Glazers, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and co. A lot of stuff there that you’ve ignored.

      Bumps are inevitable but you must get a kick out of United’s method of Rinse and Repeat. A new manager every 18 months. Woohooo.

      The wet wipes out there need to face up to the fact we aren’t very good right now. That doesn’t change my view on Ten Hag deserving a go at a third season. It was never going to click overnight.

      1. thanks for the response dale – you see i don’t see how he overachieved-see my point that one year prior united got a similar amount of points and made it to a final, the idea he overachieved is clearly false.

        I didn’t ignore anything, I can just see that ETH is a terrible manager. you can’t see that, which tells me you never will, as you roll out all sorts of excuses for a manager that has been nothing short of awful.

        i say it to all ETH fanboys, watch where his career goes next. it won’t be to a top team. he’ll be back in the eredivisie. and i would suggest to be humble, admit you were wrong about this dud of a manager and move on. won’t happen ofc as didnt happen with Ole.

        Unai Emery is the answer to what a good coach can do with basically the same players, in fact I believe Emery has signed fewer players then ETH – united have regressed at an alarming rate under the clown that is ETH. impressive really.

        anyway thanks again for responding dale!

        1. That’s a bit harsh Dave. If Garnacho wasn’t called offside against Arsenal then we could have been champions of everything. From my angle, he was onside. So unfair.

        2. Remember what it was like, in terms of expectations, after the Ralf Rangnick ordeal? They were very low so I would strongly argue that we overachieved last season.

          The first trophy in six years, Champions League qualification after finishing third and a run to the FA Cup final.

          I always appreciated your comments and feedback, but we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one.

  2. …..bit harsh.
    The Coventry game is the classic ‘banana skin’ cup tie. We’re fully expected to win, but who’d be surprised if we lose? There’s plenty of negative rumblings around EtH and the state of the dressing room following the poor display at Bournemouth – Sunday will give a strong indication of Utd’s morale and self belief right now. It’s been a tough season, but a professional, disciplined 90 mins is all that should be required – I wish I was feeling a bit more confident the players will deliver. Big game for the manager.

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