The title race goes to the final match
Last updated: May 17, 2019 by Leon Marshal
|Last Meeting:||Man City 3 – 1 Watford|
It’s FA Cup final day on Saturday, the 138th iteration. While the glamour of the competition has declined in recent years, that won’t matter to the two participants. Manchester City are going for the treble after securing the EPL on the final day, while Watford have never won the FA Cup, after losing the 1983-4 final.
Manchester City have bucked the trend of big teams playing second string teams for much of their FA Cup campaign. That has led to a particularly emphatic route to the final, including a 7-0 win against Rotherham and 5-0 against Burnley. Things got a little tougher in the later stages. Championship side Swansea pushed City to a close 3-2 win, while just a single goal separated them and Brighton in the semi-final.
However, all things considered, City are massive favourites. Their title-sealing win last weekend was their 14th consecutive win and most will expect them to make it one more here. There are no new injuries for Pep to consider, with an almost fully fit team available. Kevin de Bruyne made a cameo in last weekend’s match, and could be in line to start. Fernandinho is a doubt for the match.
Watford’s form has been poor lately and they slipped down the EPL table in the final weeks to eventually finish 11th, after looking likely to finish in 7th for some time. Nevertheless, it’s been a good season for Javia Gracia, who has turned the Hornets into a difficult team to beat. Form won’t come into this one much however. Anything can happen in knock-out football, as we’ve been reminded many times this season. Liverpool and Tottenham’s UCL exploits are perhaps the best examples of that this season, but remember Watford’s FA Cup semi-final comeback against Wolves. The Hornets turned the game on its head to comeback from two goals down with ten minutes to play, and eventually won the game in extra time. Watford fans will be hoping that the spirit shown there is present here.
Kevin de Bruyne is fit to play but Pep is waiting on news about Fernandinho who may not feature.
Benjamin Mendy is in hospital in Barcelona and will not feature after another season hit by injury.
Deulofeu, hero of Watford’s semi-final match, is expected to shake off an injury and feature.
Jose Holebas has had his red card from the last day of the season rescinded and will be able to feature.
|Man C (4-3-3):||Ederson, Kompany, Walker, Zinchenko, Laporte, D. Silva, Gundogan, B. Silva. Aguero, Sterling, Sane|
|Subs:||Muric, Stones, Otamendi, Mahrez, De Bruyne, Foden, Jesus|
|Watford (4-4-2):||Foster, Cathcart, Holebas, Ferminia, Mariappa, Deulofeu, Doucoure, Pererya, Capoue, Deeney, Gray|
|Subs:||Foster, Janmaat, Kabasele, Hughes, Sema, Cleverley, Success|
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|09/03/2019||EPL||Man C 3 – 1 Watford||Sterling 46′|
|04/12/2018||EPL||Watford 1 – 2 Man C||Sane 40′|
|02/01/2018||EPL||Man C 3 – 1 Watford||Sterling 1′|
|16/09/2017||EPL||Watford 0 – 6 Man C||Aguero 27′|
|21/05/2017||EPL||Watford 0 – 5 Man C||Kompany 5′|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
There’s no hiding the fact that City are big favourites. With the league wrapped up, Pep will field what he thinks is his strongest team. That’s bad news for Watford, but the team has progressed since the two batterings at the hands of City in 2017, when they lost by five and six goals in single matches. Things have been tighter in the last three meetings between the teams, and we expect Watford to at least stay in the game.
With that in mind, we’ll be going with over 2.5 goals, something which has come in in all of the last three meetings. You can get that bet for a great price at Coral.