Manchester City will be looking to complete the domestic treble when they face Watford in the FA Cup Final at the Wembley on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola’s men beat Chelsea on penalties to win the Carabao Cup towards the end of February. Further, they finished on the right side of one of the greatest ever Premier League title races to become the first team to win back-to-back league titles this decade.Embed from Getty Images
However, the Champions League title still proves elusive with Tottenham knocking them out in the quarterfinals this season. Nevertheless, City will look to establish their superiority in the land once again when they take on Watford.
The Citizens had a relatively easy route to the final, only facing Burnley and Brighton from the top-flight in that run. This is their first final since 2011 when they beat Stoke to win the FA Cup for the 5th time.
Coming to their opponents, Watford ended a fantastic league season on a bad note. They lost their last 3 PL games, finishing 11th in the PL table, despite competing for 7th place at one point towards the end.Embed from Getty Images
Nevertheless, Gracia’s men proved to be a tough nut to crack and had a relatively easy run into the FA Cup quarterfinals, with an out-of-sorts Newcastle their only PL opponent until then. In the quarters, Watford had to dig deep to dispatch Crystal Palace away before pulling off a superb comeback from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Wolves in the semifinals.
Thus, the Hornets are full of belief heading into their first FA Cup final since 1984 and know that a win would also guarantee a Europa League spot for next season.
In terms of team news, Fernandinho is a doubt for the game with a knee problem. Kevin De Bruyne is fit once again and came off the bench against Brighton last weekend. Benjamin Mendy underwent knee surgery once again as he continues to struggle for fitness. Claudio Bravo is a long-term absentee.
Gabriel Jesus started up front in each of Manchester City’s FA Cup clashes so far. However, Sergio Aguero could be selected to lead the line this time around.
Coming to Watford, Jose Holebas won the appeal against his red card for a last-man challenge on West Ham’s Michail Antonio and is available. This leaves Domingos Quina and Sebastian Prodl as the only absentees for the final.
Manchester City vs Watford Prediction
Manchester City are on a 10-game winning streak against Watford and are unbeaten in their last 14 meetings with the Hornets. Further, Guardiola’s side completed the double over their opponents in the league this season, winning 3-1 at home and 2-1 away.
Adding to this, City are coming off the back of a 14-game winning run in the PL and have lost just one match in their last 20 games across all competitions. On the other hand, Watford are winless in their previous four games and lost their previous three games in a row.
However, Watford did play like a team whose focus was on this match in the final league games and can be expected to do better than their current form.
Nevertheless, City are overwhelming favorites to win the FA Cup and should do so comfortably.
Predicted Manchester City XI: Ederson; Walker, Kompany, Laporte, Zinchenko; Gundogan, De Bruyne, David Silva; Bernardo Silva, Sterling, Aguero
Predicted Watford XI: Foster; Janmaat, Mariappa, Cathcart, Holebas; Capoue, Doucoure; Hughes, Pereyra; Deulofeu, Deeney