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Why the FA Cup Final at 3pm again? Man City and Man Utd agree on Wembley for the first time in a second year

While it may traditionally be the start time for the FA Cup final, the 3pm kick-off was very rare as the Football Association tried to break into the US market by moving the game back to 5.30pm UK time.

Indeed, last Saturday's start was the second in a row after 12 years of starting the game.

The 2024 final also features the same teams that played in the showpiece event last year – giants Manchester City and United.

So why does the game start at 3pm?

It simply suits all parties systematically with the FA ensuring that the decision is agreed with 'teams, local council, team members security advisors and broadcasters'.

And for once, it seems that the needs of the fans have been put first. With so many fans coming down from the north west, it made no sense that thousands were hanging around London at night catching trains home.

In last year's final, 34 people were arrested in the garage before and after the game. Police have advised fans to take different routes to north-west London with United fans taking the M6, M42 and M40 and City fans told to use the M1.

Metropolitan Police Superintendent Gerry Parker, who is in charge of the FA Cup final and Champions League final between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund on June 1, said: “We are working closely with Wembley, the FA and UEFA to prepare for these games. FA Cup and Champions League finals to ensure the safety of everyone present.

“We know that the majority of football fans at matches are law abiding and our officers will be on hand to deal with any fans identified as committing offenses in and around the stadium.”

Who are the favorites to win the game?

Manchester City are heavy favorites to repeat last year's win over United at Wembley with Erik ten Hag's men as high as 8/1 with other bookmakers. Unsurprisingly, City have won both Premier League meetings this season – 3-0 at Old Trafford and 3-1 at the Etihad.

However, we have highlighted some bets that offer better value that may be attractive.

Read our in-depth betting preview here and find the best promotional offers from UK bookies.

How to watch the game

The FA Cup final will be shown live on the BBC and ITV.

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