FA Cup Final: Man City v Watford Tips & Betting Preview

A first ever English domestic treble has never felt closer.

Ryan Elliott
 | 
Thu, 16 May, 3:26 PM

Manchester City are the best side English Football has seen during the Premier League era. I’m sure I’ll get pelters for this, but Pep Guardiola’s City would finish above Fergie’s treble-winning Manchester United team, as well as Arsene Wenger’s draw-loving Invincibles. 198 points in two Premier League seasons is absolutely outrageous.

Guardiola’s side have yet another opportunity to write themselves into the history books, as they are just one game away from securing England’s first ever domestic treble. City have certainly had some luck along the way to this FA Cup final: a relatively easy route to this stage cannot be begrudged, but the absence of VAR at The Liberty Stadium against Swansea certainly gave them a helping hand, as did its decision to not send Kyle Walker off for a headbutt against Brighton in the semis.

But as we all know, it takes two to tango, and Watford will be desperate to spoil Manchester City’s treble-winning party. Of course, it’s unfair to talk about The Hornets as if they’re some non-league outfit. Javi Gracia’s men have been outstanding for the vast majority of the season, and while a poor finish (seven defeats in their last 11) saw them drop into the bottom half of the Premier League, in a one-off game, Watford are dangerous – just ask Wolves fans.

History certainly isn’t on Watford’s side. The Hornets have lost their last 10 matches against City—conceding 19 times in the last five meetings—although they have scored on the last three occasions; despite shipping a hatful, Watford know they’re capable of breaching Ederson’s defences.

Watching City concede a set-piece goal against Brighton while in cruise control—a moment which admittedly sparked their title-winning charge into life—will be of keen interest to the multitude of big, physical players amongst Watford’s ranks – a certain Mr. Deeney in particular. If Watford are to score on Saturday, a set-piece is the most likely source.

Without further ado, let’s get stuck into the betting. City losing is pretty inconceivable; the unerring, undiminishing efficiency at which they closed out the domestic season (14 straight wins) is simply remarkable, and I ultimately can’t see Watford stunning them.

However, Manchester City to win and both teams to score does look a very solid bet. Most are in agreement that City win this (although I, like most neutrals, would love for Watford to do it), but with goals in their last three matches against City, and a natural penchant for giving matches a proper go, Watford’s goalscoring capabilities shouldn’t be overlooked.

Watford have been the dirtiest Premier League team by some distance this season, earning 77 yellow cards and four reds.

One of the few advantages they have over City is physicality, and you can be sure Gracia will be telling the likes of Troy Deeney and Etienne Capoue to use this physicality in spades. I doubt Watford bully City, but they’ll certainly try.

Therefore, I’m backing over 3.5 cards to be shown.

At a big price, my final tip is for Manchester City to win 3-1.

Two of the last three meetings between these two have ended in the same scoreline, and a repeat looks very much on the cards.

City won seven of their Premier League matches 3-1 this season, making $12.50* very backable.

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