This weekend it is one of the most prestigious events of the football calendar in the UK as Manchester City will take on Watford at Wembley in the FA Cup Final. The occasion may have lost a little of the glitz and the glamour that it had in its heyday, when it was THE sporting event of the year for many, but it is still one of the most popular and watched days of the season.

This year is also a real David v Goliath occasion, despite being contested by two Premier League teams. Goliath is Manchester City, the team that have already won the Charity Shield, Carabao Cup and Premier League this season and have designs on becoming the first team to win all four domestic trophies in a season.

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David’s role is taken on by Watford, who are competing in their second ever FA Cup Final, their first ending in a 2-0 defeat to Everton back in 1984. Javi Gracia’s team finished 11th in the Premier League this season and came through an exciting semifinal with Wolverhampton Wanderers where they netted a last gasp penalty equaliser in normal time before then going on to win in extra time to earn their final spot.

If you fancy a flutter on the FA Cup Final on Saturday, then head over to bet365 Sport for a wide range of different bets available on the big game. You can tune in to watch the match through bet365’s Live Streaming service, provided you have made a bet within the previous 24-hours, or have a funded account and of course, there will be plenty of In Play betting to enjoy on the game.  New customers can sign up today using the current bet365 Sport New Customer Bonus, which offers you a little added extra or two when you sign up and start betting on the site.

Let’s now take a look at the two teams competing and how they are likely to line up in the final on Saturday.

FA Cup Final Preview

Manchester City

How City Reached Wembley

  • 3rd Round – v Rotherham (H) – W 7-0 (Sterling, Foden, Ajayi OG, Jesus, Mahrez, Otamendi, Sane)
  • 4th Round – v Burnley (H) – W 5-0 (Jesus, Silva.B, De Bruyne, Long OG, Aguero)
  • 5th Round – v Newport County (A) – W 4-1 (Sane, Foden 2, Mahrez)
  • Quarterfinals – v Swansea City (A) – W 3-2 (Silva.B, Nordfeldt OG, Aguero)
  • Semifinals – Brighton (N) – W 1-0 (Jesus)

As you can see, City have had a relatively benign route into the final with their two toughest games coming against lower table Premier League teams in Brighton and Burnley. Swansea though probably gave City their toughest test en-route to the final, with the Welsh side winning 2-0 until midway through the second half when City took control and netted the win thanks to three late goals.

Conceding just three goals in their five games, City have netted a total of 20 goals in those matches, four a game on average and with their incredible league form seeing them win all of their last 13 matches of the Premier League season, it is clear that they are the massive favourites to win their fourth trophy of the season.

City’s Team Selection

Pep Guardiola has played strong teams, while rotating players in and out for games this season but with this game being the final one of the season, I can see him sticking with what is arguably his strongest team at present. That could mean a place on the bench at best for some.

Manchester City – Probable Team – (4-3-3) – Ederson, Walker, Zinchenko, Laporte, Kompany, Fernandinho, B.Silva, D.Silva, Sterling, Aguero, Sane

Possible changes to this line up could be De Bruyne starting for David Silva if the Belgian is fit, while Jesus could replace Aguero as the focal point in attack as the Brazilian has tended to start in the FA Cup ahead of the Argentinean striker. Mendy could also come in at left back for Zinchenko.


How Watford Reached Wembley

  • 3rd Round – v Woking (A) – W 2-0 (Hughes, Deeney)
  • 4th Round – v Newcastle United (A) – W 2-0 (Gray, Success)
  • 5th Round – v Q.P.R (A) – W 1-0 (Capoue)
  • Quarterfinals – v Crystal Palace (H) – W 2-1 (Capoue, Gray)
  • Semifinals – v Wolves (N) – W 3-2 (aet) – (Deulofeu 2, Deeney)

A very strong defensive grounding has been the key to Watford’s progress through the FA Cup this season and it is fair to say that they have had a much tougher route to the final than City. They began with a good pair of away wins at Woking and then, impressively, at Newcastle United and then they produced another solid display on the road to beat Q.P.R at Loftus Road in the 5th Round.

A narrow quarterfinal win over Crystal Palace was their only home tie in the FA Cup this season and that set them up for a fine semifinal with Wolves. They trailed the midlands-based side 2-0 with around 20 minutes to go, but Gerard Deulofeu’s strike and then Troy Deeney’s injury time penalty brought them back all square with just seconds to go, Deulofeu then added a second in extra time to break Wolves hearts and send the Hornets into the final.

Watford’s Team Selection

Javi Gracia has given Ben Foster a rest in FA Cup games this season and it is likely that Heurelho Gomes will play his last game for Watford in the final. Gracia has tried to pack the midfield in tight games and I can see him perhaps electing to play with just one out and out striker for this game, with support coming from the likes of Hughes and Pereyra from deeper.

Watford Probable Team – (4-5-1) – Gomes, Femenia, Holebas, Kabasele, Cathcart, Capoue, Doucoure, Pereyra, Deulofeu, Hughes, Deeney.

Gomes could alter this to a 4-4-2 by dropping Deulofeu and playing Gray or Success in attack, but I feel that is unlikely here. Janmaat could get the nod at right back. Holebas will play despite being sent off last week as his red card in the game with West Ham has been rescinded since.

History Between The Teams

  • Played – 28 games
  • Man City Wins – 17
  • Watford Wins – 6
  • Draws – 5

It makes good reading if you are a City fan when looking at the history between the teams. City have won all of the last ten games between the teams, scoring 32 goals and conceding just six. Watford’s last win over City in contrast came back in March 1989 at Vicarage Road.

The teams have met six times in the FA Cup although the first three of those games involved two replays after two draws and a third game which Watford won. City have won the three FA Cup ties between the two teams since in relatively convincing fashion.

This season, City beat Watford 2-1 at Vicarage Road in December in what was a hard-fought three points, but they were much more in control in the return game in March when winning 3-1 on home soil at the Etihad Stadium.

FA Cup Final Tips

Match Result – Manchester City to win and both teams to score – 15/8

Brighton showed last week that City are susceptible at set pieces and I think Watford could have some joy against them here. However, even if Watford do score, I still feel City will go on to win the game comfortably.  I have backed City to win 3-1 on the correct score market which is a 10/1 shot and to round things off you can get even money on Raheem Sterling scoring a goal in the game with bet365 which I feel is another good value bet.