The FA Cup Final, a fixture with so much history, rolls back around this weekend. On Saturday evening it will be Manchester City and Watford stepping out to face each other at Wembley. For Watford, this will be just their second ever FA Cup Final appearance, and they remain looking for their club’s first title. As for Manchester City, this is their chance to secure a domestic treble this season. The odds on Man City to beat Watford are as short as 1/5* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on May 16th, 2019 at 4:57 p.m.)
Man City 1/5
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on May 16th, 2019 at 4:57 p.m.)
After their tremendous Premier League title, Manchester City have one final challenge left in front of them this season. Are they going to be a relaxed unit when they step out at Wembley, that’s really the question? The chase of their title defence was mentally exhausting, but they handled it brilliantly winning their final fourteen games of the campaign.
So that pressure has been lifted, they have celebrated and now they have the chance to create even more history. Manchester City have won fifteen of their last sixteen games across all competitions (L1). It’s staggering form it really is. They have won 20 of their last 22 games in all competitions (D1 L1) when you look back a little bit further. The draw in that sequence was their EFL Cup penalty shootout success against Chelsea in February.
Manchester City are looking for their sixth FA Cup title. Surprisingly, for how much they have been at the forefront of English football. Their last FA Cup title was back in 2011 when they beat Stoke 1-0. That was their first FA Cup title since 1969.
That 2011 success over Stoke though was not their most recent FA Cup Final appearance. They went to Wembley as red hot favourites against Wigan in 2013. However, that game produced one of the biggest FA Cup final upsets for a long, long time as Wigan stunned them by coming up with a 1-0 win.
Manchester City took a 2-1 and a 3-1 win over Watford this season in the Premier League meetings. City’s dominance over the Hornets goes back much further than that though. The Citizens are on a ten-match winning streak against Watford in all competitions. That run started with a 3-0 FA Cup third round win over Watford in 2013. They met a year later in the fourth round, City banking a 4-2 win. From their six previous FA Cup meetings, Manchester City hold a W3 D2 L1 record.
The Hornets made their one and only appearance in the FA Cup final back in 1984. They went up against Everton on that occasion and suffered a 2-0 loss in the game. There was a bit of controversy there though. Everton’s second goal, scored by Andy Gray looked as if had been after a foul on the Watford goalkeeper Steve Sherwood, Gray heading the ball from his hands. After facing a winding-up petition in 2012, the club has come a long way since being saved.
The end of the season has not been a particularly easy one for Watford by any stretch of the imagination. They have won just one of their last six games in all competitions, losing four of those. They finished up the Premier League season with a three-match losing streak, conceding a total of nine goals in that sequence. Maybe they had one eye on their FA Cup because their struggles really started since their semi-final win over Wolves.
That semi-final was a thriller. They were 2-0 down at Wembley with just over ten minutes to go. A piece of individual brilliance from Gerard Deulofeu got them back in the game. Then their comeback took a step further as Troy Deeney converted a penalty in the 90th minute of the game. It was then Deulofeu who popped up with a winner in the 104th minute to complete the epic comeback which had looked so unlikely for so long in the game.
But can they shake off that slump in end of season form and find the right formula to find a way to stop Man City?