Clash of the Manchester Titans: 90,000 Man City and Man Utd fans swarm into Wembley for FA Cup final – after battle to London due to rail strike
- Manchester United are today looking to end Man City’s hopes of a famous treble
- Train workers staging a walkout for the second day this week – as fans go by bus
- READ MORE: Manchester City vs Manchester United – FA Cup final LIVE
Excitement is flooding the streets of Wembley as Manchester fans get ready to battle it out for the FA Cup Final.
As super-fans travel across the country by bus, 90,000 supporters are expected descend on the London stadium for a Manchester Derby away from home.
The game kicks off at 3pm so not to clash with the Epsom Derby taking place at 4:30pm at the Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey.
And amid crippling trainstrikes, the FA confirmed that an additional 120 coaches, 60 for each team, will make the 400-mile round trip from Manchester to London so that fans are able to attend the event.
Now Wembley Way is awash with red and sky blue as the two teams hope to confirm – or deny – City’s hope to complete their treble dream.
Manchester City fans on Wembley Way are hot with anticipation as they urge their team to a historic treble
Wembley Way is awash with red and sky blue as the two teams hope to confirm their victory
A Manchester City fan poses with a hand-made poster of Rodri – one of the team’s star midfielders
Citizens pose by the stadium – complete with Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland cuddly toys
Manchester United fans Tom and Josh get ready for the game on Wembley Way
Fans get ready for the game – chanting as they get out of the station
A confident fan celebrates into the camera as they tramp towards the ground
Foung fans of the game chant for City outside the famous stadium
It comes after a dominant year for Manchester City – after storming ahead of Arsenal to win their third Premier League title in a row.
READ MORE: Manchester City vs Manchester United – FA Cup final LIVE: Pep Guardiola and Erik ten Hag go head-to-head at Wembley Stadium
And with the Champions League final against Inter Milan just a week away, fans are bracing themselves for a dream result.
But local rivals Manchester United – who were the last British club to achieve the feat in 1999 with the Class of ’92 – are hoping to knock their old rivals down to size at their second hurdle.
Back in October, United were humbled at the Etihad, where they were fortunate to suffer only a 6-3 defeat at the hands of Erling Haaland and Phil Foden.
But three months later Ten Hag’s side toppled City at Old Trafford. It was a 2-1 win that hinged on a contentious offside decision but became a powerful statement in Ten Hag’s first season.
The industrial action coincides with the Manchester derby final at Wembley stadium as well as the Epsom Derby and a number of other sporting and music events.
The strike follows a walkout by train drivers on Wednesday and by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) on Friday in long-running disputes over pay, jobs and conditions.
There were concerns before today that some football fans would be unable to reach the capital due to a shortage of coaches and greater traffic on the motorways.
A City fan celebrates with a cigar as they prepare for the big game
Hustlers shout their wares – flogging merchandise bearing the faces of Grealish, Haaland and Foden
Two young lads pose for a photo under the statue of 1966 legend Bobby Moore
Manchester United fans drink outside a pub near to Wembley ahead of the match
Fans sing their hearts out as they make their way to the ground from the station
Two United fans look down on the crowds – waiting for the match to begin
A return ticket costs £60 for adults and £55 for under 15s, with spaces only available to those with tickets to the game.
READ MORE: We’re on our way to Wembley (by bus): Man City fans pile onto coaches for FA Cup Final against Man Utd in London – as rail strikers cause weekend hell for thousands heading to Epsom, Lords and Beyonce concert TODAY
Both clubs – who were given more than 30,500 tickets priced between £45 and £145 – are also putting on subsidised coaches for the final.
United are laying on 20 coaches, which seat an average of 50 people. The club are charging £50 for adults and £40 for under-16s for a return journey.
City have also organised a fleet of coaches to take their fans to the final, priced the same as United.
But they will not depart from the Etihad Stadium because the venue is hosting a Coldplay concert today as well.
The coaches and those wishing to drive to the capital have been advised to take different travel routes down to London and stop at different service stations on the way.
Motorway services have also been allocated to each club.
City fans have been asked to use Lymm, Sandbach, Stafford, Norton Canes, Corley, Rugby, Watford Gap, Northampton, Newport Pagnell, Toddington and London Gateway.
For United, fans have been allocated Knutsford, Keele, Hilton Park, Warwick, Cherwell Valley, Oxford and Beaconsfield.
Two young fans don’t let their teams get between them – as they prepare for the big game together
Manchester United fan Graham McLauchlan poses outside in his Man United get-up
The superfan has all the gear – with a stunning scarf, shirt, jacketr and hat combination
Manchester City fans look serious as they pose for a picture on Wembley Way
Manchester United fans with an inflatable trophy pose for a picture on Wembley Way
Today’s disruption will also affect those attending the England vs Ireland test match at Lord’s cricket ground and Beyonce’s Renaissance tour concert at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) said around 40% of trains will run on Saturday but there will be wide regional variations with some areas having no services.
Picket lines will be mounted outside train stations across the country on Saturday, while inside platforms are expected to be all but empty with drivers at 15 companies in England going on strike.
The train operating companies involved in the dispute are Avanti West Coast; Chiltern Railways; CrossCountry; East Midlands Railway; Great Western Railway; Greater Anglia; GTR Great Northern; Thameslink; London North Eastern Railway; Northern Trains; Southeastern; Southern/Gatwick Express; South Western Railway; SWR depot drivers; SWR Island Line; TransPennine Express and West Midlands Trains.
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