FA Cup final preview: Manchester City take on Watford at Wembley Stadium

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Manchester City v Watford - FA Cup Final

Manchester City and Watford will play out the 138th FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, with Pep Guardiola's side looking to complete a historic domestic treble.

The Citizens have already wrapped up the Carabao Cup; defeating Chelsea on penalties earlier this year, whilst they also fended off Liverpool in the Premier League title race thanks to a 4-1 win away at Brighton on the final day of the season.

Standing in their way of a historic treble is Javi Gracia's Watford, who, after a disappointing end to the campaign, finished in 11th.

GIVEMEBET Latest odds:

Both Teams to Score – 23/20
Gabriel Jesus to score first – 33/10
Penalty in the match – 21/10

Here, GiveMeSport takes a look at all the key talking points going into the final.

ROUTE TO THE FINAL

Manchester City have arguably had one of the easiest runs to the final, playing just two Premier League sides along the way.

Their route started back in the third round where they thumped Championship side Rotherham 7-0 at the Etihad Stadium. This was then followed up by a 5-0 rout over Burnley, and a 4-1 win over Newport County.

Swansea City gave Guardiola's side a real scare in the quarter-final, but a late Sergio Aguero goal booked City's place in the semi-final.

A Gabriel Jesus goal inside the first five minutes against Brighton was enough to secure their final spot.

As for Watford, they've had a bit of a trickier route to the final, taking on and defeating three Premier League sides.

Woking v Watford - FA Cup Third Round

After Woking were seen off in the third round, Watford then defeated Newcastle and Queens Park Rangers to advance to the quarter-final.

A home tie against Crystal Palace was their challenge, one which they overcame thanks to Etienne Capoue and Andre Gray.

Then came the semi-final, and after falling behind to a very impressive Wolves, it looked like the journey was ending for Gracia's men.

However, the magic of the FA Cup kicked in and a spectacular goal from Gerard Deulofeu and a last-minute penalty from Troy Deeney sent the game to extra-time.

Deulofeu became the hero again as he scored the winner, booking their spot in the final against Man City.

HISTORY IN THE FA CUP

Manchester City are looking to win their sixth FA Cup after winning it in 1903–04, 1933–34, 1955–56, 1968–69 and 2010–11.

Manchester City v Stoke City - FA Cup Final

As for Watford, they are competing in only their second ever FA Cup final, their first appearance coming way back in the 1983–84 season. They lost 2-0 to Everton.

KEY PLAYERS

Where do you start with highlighting Manchester City's key players? Their whole side can be a cause for danger on their day, but the obvious threats come from the likes of Aguero, David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne.

As for Watford, they shouldn't be totally ruled out despite the clear difference in class. Anything can happen in an FA Cup final - just look at Wigan back in 2013 - but if they are to pull off a 'cupset', they will need the likes of Deeney, Deulofeu, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Roberto Pereyra to be on top form.

INTERESTING STATS

  • Watford's 35-year wait for a second FA Cup final appearance is the longest since 1967, when Chelsea appeared in their second final 52 years after featuring in their first.

  • No team to finish in the bottom half of the top-flight table has ever beaten the side to finish top in the FA Cup final. The previous lowest was in 1957 when Aston Villa, who finished 10th, defeated champions Manchester United.

  • This will be the first FA Cup final between two managers of the same nationality since 2008 (Dave Jones and Harry Redknapp).

Unsurprisingly, Manchester City will be considered the heavy favourites going into the final, but when it comes to the FA Cup, you can never rule anything out.

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