FA Cup Final: 3 key battles to watch out for when Manchester City face Watford

Manchester City will have the chance to rewrite the history books when they take on Watford in the FA Cup final.

Pep Guardiola and team might become the first team in English top-flight history to achieve a domestic treble if they manage to beat Watford in what could be Guardiola’s first FA Cup win after nearly 3 years in charge.

Manchester City, however, won’t have fond memories of their FA Cup final visit to Wembley when they lost 1-0 to Wigan back in 2013. The last time Citizens lifted the oldest trophy in England, we all believed the world would end in 2012.

The Sky Blues, who retained the Premier League title on the last day of the season, will be in high spirits, while Watford have Europe to aim for including some silverware to cap off an impressive season.

The Hornets received one major boost with Jose Holebas returning to the squad after his red card ban was overturned earlier in the week.

Javi Gracia also has a chance to lift his first silverware in his debut season at Vicarage Road. Let’s take a look at some battles which might decide the outcome of the game.

Oleksandr Zinchenko vs Gerard Deulofeu  

The young Swede has filled in perfectly for Benjamin Mendy who has had a baffling injury-run in the last two campaigns. Zinchenko already played in one final against Chelsea earlier in the season, but this time the threat will be a bit different in Deulofeu.

The former Barcelona player is a handful in the final third, and has 17 goal contributions to his name. The Spaniard is expected to return from injury for an all-important final game of the season.

Earlier in the competition, he came off the bench in the semi-finals to score twice against Wolves and helped the Hornets to the final.

Vincent Kompany vs Troy Deeney

The Belgian scored a wonder goal in the penultimate game of the Premier League to help his side to back to back Premier League titles. The 33-year-old’s technicality and leadership skills at the back are crucial to City’s play, especially against opposition of Hornets quality.

Both Watford and City veterans have played in games like these before and match like for like in terms of physicality and rough play on the pitch.

Mr Watford, Troy Deeney, has a history of unsettling defences with his bullish nature and an interesting face-off is bound to take place when the two set foot on the pitch in the final on Saturday.

Bernardo Silva vs Jose Holebas

Another fascinating battle that’s bound to take place once will be on the right side of the pitch.

Bernardo Silva, who has been City’s best player of the season, is one technically skilful work-horse who hardly feels weary no matter what minute of the game we are in.

Holebas, meanwhile, likes to maraud forward, creating an attacking threat of his own, and the Portuguese will have to be wary of the situation when the two go head to head at Wembley.

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