Coventry City vs Manchester United preview: Predictions, team news and more

United face Coventry City at Wembley on Sunday evening hoping to book a place in the final on May 25th.
Manchester United v Liverpool - Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final
Manchester United v Liverpool - Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Manchester United will do battle with Coventry City on Sunday evening, hoping to book a place in the FA Cup final. Threadbare in defence due to injury, the Reds will be without Luke Shaw, Victor Lindelof, Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Jonny Evans so will once again likely rely on academy product Willy Kambwala to partner Harry Maguire in a potential banana skin against the Championship side.

The FA Cup offers Manchester United the opportunity to salvage something from a shipwreck of a season. A semi-final win against Championship side Coventry City would set up a final showdown with either cross-town rivals Manchester City or Chelsea. With United now sitting 13 points off the Champions League places with only 18 points to play for, The FA Cup has become the be all and end all for the season.

For Erik ten Hag it represents a chance to bank some more credit in the form of a trophy before his end of season evaluation. After a reasonably successful first season, ten Hag’s sophomore campaign has been disappointing. The eyes of INEOS and the new footballing leadership will be on him and his squad, as players and manager will be fighting for their Old Trafford careers. United only have two games of any importance remaining now, this semi-final and hopefully the final.

Haji Wright
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Coventry City - Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

United’s opponents Coventry City won the FA Cup in 1987 and to football fans of a certain vintage held a similar or greater status to the two sides battling it out in the other side of the draw. Their relegation in 2001 ended a remarkable spell of 34 years in the top flight of English football. Since then, the Sky Blues have suffered a series of unsettling and upsetting setbacks. 

Terrible owners, stadium lockouts, and two further relegations in the two decades since their fall from the Premier League have tested fans’ loyalty and patience. 

Coventry played against Manchester City in the second tier of English football in 2001/02 a season when City won promotion to the Premier League. It’s not entirely unreasonable for Coventry fans to wonder, had they been promoted in City’s stead, would they now be reaping the rewards of state funded billions.

It’s a moot point now and Coventry are on something of an upswing under former United player Mark Robins. Danger men Ellis Simms and Haji Wright were both on the scoresheet when Coventry vanquished Wolves in the quarter final and given United’s propensity to cough up an average of more than 20 shots against per game, it’s likely they’ll get chances. 

Like United, Coventry’s hopes now rest on the FA Cup as they are unlikely to repeat last season’s feat and make the play-offs.

Although United are short some key players, they can still boast an impressive starting eleven and should be able to get over the line against their midlands rivals. It won’t be easy (when is it ever?), but The Red Devils have enough quality to overcome Coventry and will be playing in the Cup Final on May 25th.


United 3 - 1 Coventry City

Expected line-up:

Onana, Dalot, Kambwala, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka, Casemiro, Mainoo, Fernandes, Garnacho, Rashford, Hojlund