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FA Youth Cup Final Preview: Man Utd vs Nottingham Forest - team news, lineups

The FA Youth Cup kicked off on the 1st December 2021 but as we progressed through the battle for the coveted trophy, only two teams withstood the test of time in the form of Manchester United and Nottingham Forest.

After a three-goal dominating triumph over Wolverhampton Wanderers, Manchester United secured their spot in the final clash against Nottingham Forest, who convincingly knocked Chelsea out of the competition.

The final fixture of the Cup is set to be played on 11 May 2022 at the iconic Old Trafford stadium.

More than 63,000 tickets have been sold for Wednesday's final, setting a new Youth Cup attendance record.

For the players set to feature in the tie, it will be the biggest crowd they've ever played in front of - hence it will be interesting to see how well they handle the pressure of having tens of thousands of eyeballs on them for 90 minutes.

Let's take a look at how Manchester United seeks to maintain their Youth Cup record while Nottingham Forest go for their first title.


Manchester United

Manchester United has an incredible history in the FA Youth Cup and have used the cup to propel young talents into the big time.

The likes of Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville, have both won the tournament or played in the final.

And by the looks of things, Alejandro Garnacho, and Charlie McNeill, the top goal scorers (five goals) in this year's competition, are set to join Giggs and Neville's illustrious ranks.

Earlier this season (6 November 2021), United treated the visiting Forest side to a two-goal defeat.

But while Manchester United have the upper hand going into the final, they are likely to approach the clash cautiously due to the attacking prowess Nottingham Forest has displayed in the competition.


Nottingham Forest

The Forest youngsters have enjoyed an excellent FA Youth Cup run so far, beating the likes of Peterborough United, Cambridge United, Bristol City, Blackburn Rovers, and Chelsea to secure a ticket to the final clash at the theatre of dreams against Manchester United.

The young Forest team is the underdog in this clash with no prior Cup final appearance.

The head coach, Warren Joyce, stated that his players are approaching the game with zero fear.

Instead, they aim to focus and concentrate on being the best version of themselves.

"We've done that so far in the tournament and we've got to continue to do that..." the English manager stated.

In this encounter, the thriving English centre-forward, Detlef Esapa Osong, is the player to look out for. The 17-year-old has developed into a fine forward with a five-goal tally in this Cup run.

Osong assisted the equaliser and went on to score the two deciding goals in the semi-final victory over Chelsea. Osong is Forest's top goalscorer in all competitions this season and will undoubtedly threaten United's defence. Justin Hanks and Ben Hammond could equally be instrumental in handling United's Alejandro Garnacho and Charlie McNeill.

Following the victory against Chelsea in April, Forest has maintained a six-game unbeaten run, which is a record in the academy's history. Warren Joyce has tipped his youngsters to take the world by surprise and go for gold.


Prediction

Manchester United is expected to put up a dominant display against Forest, however, they are unlikely to be pushovers in this tie.

We expect United to secure a 3-2 victory.


Manchester United Possible Line-up:

T. Wooster; T. Fredricson, S. Aljofree, R. Bennett, M. Jurado; M. Oyedele, K. Mainoo, O. Forson, D. Gore, A. Garnacho; C. McNeill.


Nottingham Forest Possible Line-up:

A. Bott; B. Hammond, P. Johnson, J. Hanks; J. McDonnell, K. McAdam, D. Taylor, S. Collins, Josh Powell; J. Perkins, D. Osong.


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Phillip Ekuwem
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