City will be desperate to add some more silverware to their collection this season, their Premier League win was sewn up last week in yet another superb performance but Watford will battle for every scrap in search of a famous victory.
The Citizens showed what they were truly made of on Sunday as the Premier League title race reached its climactic conclusion. Glenn Murray rose amongst uncertainty in the City box to nod Brighton in front just a few minutes after Liverpool had taken the lead against Wolves. The pressure was on but it didn’t take City to respond through Sergio Aguero, from then on we saw a terrific display that represented everything we’ve come to expect of this side. The quality of the goals was superb, Mahrez’s clean footwork and great finish was only overshadowed by a glorious freekick from Ilkay Gundogan. But was it ever really in doubt? In the league the Sky Blues had won 13 straight matches before they travelled to the Amex Stadium and now they have a chance to take an FA Cup win too to add to their league title and League cup win.
Watford rose from the depths of defeat against Wolves in the semi final to earn their place in this final. It’s a fantastic story for a club that had some real struggles not so long ago. However The Hornets have struggled greatly in The Premier League of late, just seven points from eight games puts them right down towards the bottom of the form table with only Cardiff, Brighton and Huddersfield taking less points in that period. The odds are stacked in City’s favour, quite literally. They’re priced at just 1.17 to win the game with Watford out at 14.0.
However this is a bit of a one off and to an extent form isn’t as relevant as it would be in a league game, those Watford players will be pumped up and ready to rustle some feathers as they have done so often to the big sides during their Premier League tenure. Watford are priced at 1.83 to even get on the scoresheet which I think looks like cracking value, Brighton managed it at the weekend and Watford offer much more going forward than The Seagulls with a similar threat from set pieces too.
City have a fully fit bottomless pit of talent to choose from and we ould see some slight alterations to their line-up. Benjamin Mendy is fit and available but it’s likely pep Guardiola will opt for Oleksander Zinchenko at full back, the Ukranian has done a solid job there throughout the season despite it not being his most natural role. Kevin De Bruyne could start after returning to fitness, the Belgian playmaker was unplayable at times earlier in the season buy has struggled greatly with injury. He’ll be desperate to finish the season on a positive note; if he does return it may see Bernardo Silva move in to the attacking trifactor alongside Aguero and Sterling. It’s a battle for who will start at centre back but after his recent heroics I would expect Pep to hand the place to Vincent Kompany as the skipper looks to be coming to the end of his career for The Citizens.
Watford had Jose Holebas ejected on the final day of the season against West Ham which leaves him unavailable for this contest which is a huge blow, the Greek international offers a lot to this Watford side. Adam Masina is set to step in at left back. Heurelho Gomes will continue as The Hornets cup goalkeeper in what looks likely to be the final game of his long career. A lot of responsibility will fall on Gerard Deulofeu to provide the creative spark for Watford. Troy Deeney will lead the line, expect a full blooded performance from him as he looks to drive his team to glory. He’s a great pick for a card in my opinion as a man who plays with so much emotion.
There’s always a temptation to go for goals in games that involve Manchester City. Their games average 3.11 goals this season, with Watford’s average 2.92. Watford have the joint highest percentage for games that have seen over 2.5 goals with Manchester City coming in in second place on that statistic. You can back over 2.5 goals at a price of 1.45.
That price would suggest that all the goals are expected to come from City but as mentioned I like Watford to make a game of this and at 1.83 to get on the scoresheet it could be a fantastic addition to any special or same game multi on this match. If you’re straying in to goal scorer markets then the odds are very short, on account of Coty’s ridiculous firepower. Aguero is at just 1.67 to score anytime. My pick would be Bernardo Silva at 4.0 anytime, the dazzling Portuguese midfielder is a real big game player and if he does play a more attacking role then that should increase his chances of finding the net.
Manchester City to win and over 2.5 goals @ 1.62
Watford over 0.5 goals @ 1.83
Bernardo Silva to score anytime @ 4.0
A goal scored in both halves @ 1.44