After a thrilling season, Manchester City have the opportunity to achieve a historical domestic treble as they meet Watford in the 2018-19 FA Cup Final at Wembley.
Victory would see Pep Guardiola’s Citizens complete a domestic clean sweep whereas Watford are going for their first major cup title outside of league play-offs.
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Fernandinho is set to be available for Manchester City after missing their last three matches with a knee injury.
Benjamin Mendy (knee) and Claudio Bravo (Achilles) both however are definitely ruled out.
Watford have Jose Holebas available after the Greek defender won an appeal against his red card against West Ham last Sunday.
Domingos Quina (shoulder) and Sebastian Prodl (knee) remain long-term absentees for the Hornets.
Road to Final
|Three||7-0 v Rotherham (H)||0-2 v Woking (A)|
|Four||5-0 v Burnley (H)||0-2 v Newcastle (A)|
|Five||1-4 v Newport (A)||0-1 v QPR (A)|
|Six||2-3 v Swansea (A)||2-1 v Crystal Palace (H)|
|Semi-Finals||1-0 v Brighton (N)||3-2 AET v Wolves (N)|
Manchester City have enjoyed a comfortable run to this year’s Final apart from a tough test at Swansea, where they came from two goals down to progress with an 88th-minute Sergio Aguero winner.
Watford likewise enjoyed a similar run with their own dramatic comeback coming in the semi-final, when Gerard Deulofeu inspired an epic comeback to eventually edge past Wolves in extra time.
- Manchester City have won three of their four FA Cup ties overall against Watford, with their first ever tie needing two replays before the Hornets ran out eventual 3-0 winners.
- Three of Man City’s five FA Cup titles were won 1-0 in the final, although they lost their last appearance at this stage by same scoreline to Wigan in 2013.
- Watford lost their only previous FA Cup Final appearance in 1984, losing 2-0 to Everton through goals from Graeme Sharp and Andrew Gray.
- Man City have lost just one of their last six trips to Wembley for a domestic cup tie (excluding Community Shield), losing 2-1 to Arsenal in extra time of their semi-final tie in 2017.
- No Watford player have scored more than two FA Cup goals in a single season since 1997-98 when Gifton Noel-Williams scored three in the second round with two of those coming in a replay against Torquay United.
- City have netted 20 goals to get to this season’s Final compared to 17 en route to the 2011 Final, where they eventually emerged victorious that season against Stoke.
- If Troy Deeney scores here and Gerard Deulofeu doesn’t then they will be finish at Watford’s joint top goalscorers with 12 goals, which will be second time in four seasons in which Deeney has shared that stat after doing so with Odion Ighalo at end of 2015-16 season.
Manchester City are facing their first Cup Final since 2014 which is not against a fellow ‘Big Six’ team, so I am expecting Watford to give them a good test as City don’t tend to be as strong against lesser sides at Wembley.
Man City however are in fierce form at the minute which will be tough to stop here, even if Watford give it their all.
Prediction: Manchester City 2-1 Watford