Manchester City vs Watford FC - FA Cup Final Free Picks

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

By Jonathan Willis
FA Cup Final Manchester City vs Watford FC

No English team has won a domestic treble. The burden of winning the Premier League, FA Cup, and League Cup has proven to be too much for any other squad in English soccer history, but Manchester City can change that this Saturday. City have already claimed the League Cup and the Premier League titles, and they can add the FA Cup to their trophy case this Saturday. Watford will be out to stop City from making history.

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Manchester City vs Watford FC

  • Date and Time: May 18, 2019, 12 p.m. ET
  • Location: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England
  • US Television Coverage: ESPN Plus
  • Betting Line: Manchester City -2, O/U 3
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Watford finished in the middle of the table, but the Hornets had a solid campaign. They finished with 50 points on the year, yet they just couldn’t get over the hump against Big Six teams after beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in September. Following that win over Spurs, they lost 11 straight against Big Six clubs, and they gave up five goals in their two matches with Manchester City.

Fortunately, the Hornets didn’t face any Big Six clubs on their run through the FA Cup, but they did play their first three tilts away from home. Watford had little trouble with sixth-tier Woking, and they put away Newcastle United by a score of 2-0 in St. James’ Park. They followed that performance with a gritty 1-0 win over QPR before finally hosting two home games. Watford conceded its first goal of the competition against Crystal Palace, but they won that game 2-1, and they stormed back from a 2-0 deficit late in the second half to beat Wolves 3-2 in extra time in the semifinals.

Manchester City had no trouble with any of their opponents in this competition until they reached the quarterfinals. The Citizens hammered Rotherham United, Burnley, and Newport Country by a combined score of 16-1 in their first three matches, and they played a lot of reserves in those games. In the quarterfinals, Swansea City gave them all they could handle in Wales, going up 2-0 and taking that lead into the 69th minute before City stormed back to win 3-2. City only beat Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0 in the semifinals, but they were fully in control of that game the whole way.

Notable Absences

Benjamin Mendy and Claudio Bravo are long-term injuries for Manchester City. Fernandinho suffered a knee injury a few weeks ago, so he is unlikely to participate in the FA Cup Final after an injury-plagued season. Fortunately, fellow midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is ready to go. Jose Holebas was cleared to play for Watford yesterday after his red card against West Ham in the season finale was overturned by the FA. Domingos Quina and Sebastian Prodl will both miss the match because of injury.

Watford FC Player to Watch

Gerard Deulofeu has been one of the most hot and cold players in the Premier League this season. When he is on, Deulofeu can be magical. He tallied Watford’s lone goal against City in their last meeting, and he rallied them from behind against Wolves in the FA Cup Semifinal. He will need to be on point for Watford to have a chance against City.

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Manchester City Player to Watch

Raheem Sterling notched a hat trick against Watford the last time these teams met. Sterling has been one of the top players in the Premier League this season, but he largely doesn’t get the credit he deserves since he plays for star-studded City. He could have a whale of a game here against a Watford side that allowed 59 goals in league play this season.

FA Cup Final Free Picks

This game won’t be close. Manchester City are largely healthy and ready to make history. Watford have had a good campaign, but their season will end as a footnote.

FA Cup Final Prediction: Manchester City 4, Watford FC 1

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