2019 FA Cup Final Preview: Manchester City vs Watford

Premier League champions Manchester City take on Watford in the 2019 FA Cup final on May 18, 2019, at Wembley Stadium for the finale of the 138th edition of this historic knockout tournament.

INTRODUCTION TO THE 2019 FA CUP FINAL

Manchester City head into the game chasing a domestic treble, having already clinched the Premier League title and Carabao Cup this season.

City are seeking their sixth FA Cup success – they last clinched the trophy with a 1-0 victory over Stoke City in 2011.

Watford have reached the final for just the second time – their only previous appearance in 1984 ended in a 2-0 defeat against Everton.

The North West side have held the upper hand over Watford in recent times, winning 13 and drawing two of their last 15 meetings in all competitions.

ROUTE TO THE FA CUP FINAL

Manchester City

  • 3rd round – Rotherham United (H) – 7–0
  • 4th round – Burnley (H) – 5–0
  • 5th round – Newport County (A) – 4–1
  • Quarter-finals – Swansea City (A) – 3–2
  • Semi-finals – Brighton & Hove Albion (N) – 1–0

City breezed through their first three matches in the competition, winning the games by a 16-1 aggregate scoreline.

They were given an almighty scare by Swansea in the last eight, recovering from two goals down to progress to the semi-finals courtesy of a late Sergio Aguero goal.

Pep Guardiola’s side were pushed hard by Brighton in the semi-final, with Gabriel Jesus’ header early in the game proving the difference between the two sides.

Watford

  • 3rd round – Woking (A) – 2–0
  • 4th round – Newcastle United (A) – 2–0
  • 5th round – Queens Park Rangers (A) – 1–0
  • Quarter-finals – Crystal Palace (H) – 2–1
  • Semi-finals – Wolverhampton Wanderers (N) – 3–2 (a.e.t.)

Watford safely overcame away draws in their first three FA Cup matches, winning each one without conceding a goal.

Second-half substitute Andre Gray scored two minutes after coming on to send the Hornets into the semi-finals with a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Vicarage Road.

Gerard Deulofeu was the star of the show against Wolverhampton Wanderers in their last four tie, scoring twice as Watford came from two goals down to secure a thrilling 3-2 win after extra-time.

KEY FA CUP FINAL STATISTICS

City have reached their eleventh FA Cup final and first since 2013 when they eventually lost to Wigan Athletic.

They have scored 20 goals in the FA Cup this season, the most by a team in the competition since Chelsea in 2011/12 (also 20).

City are unbeaten in their last six games at Wembley in all competitions (W5, D1), conceding just one goal in those matches.

Deulofeu is the seventh player to score twice in an FA Cup semi-final, and the first since Willian for Chelsea in April 2017 (v Tottenham Hotspur).

Watford’s victory in the semi-final was their first at Wembley since beating Bolton Wanderers 2-0 in the First Division play-off final.

Hornets’ striker Troy Deeney has scored in both of his FA Cup semi-final appearances – previously doing so against Crystal Palace in April 2016.

FA CUP FINAL MATCH RULES

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes extra-time if necessary.
  • Penalty shoot-out if scores still level.
  • Seven named substitutes.
  • Maximum of three substitutions, with a fourth allowed in extra-time.

FA CUP FINAL TEAM NEWS

Kevin De Bruyne is in contention for City after recovering from a hamstring injury, while Fernandinho may be in the matchday squad if he can shake off a knee problem. Claudio Bravo and Benjamin Mendy remain on the sidelines.

Jose Holebas is available for Watford after successfully appealing his red card received on the final day of the season against West Ham United for a professional foul. Domingos Quina and Sebastian Prodl are both ruled out.

HOW TO WATCH THE FA CUP FINAL

The 2019 FA Cup final will be broadcast live on BBC1 and on the BBC iPlayer, as well as BT Sport. You can watch the FA Cup final live online as well.

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