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FA Cup Final 2019 - Man City vs Watford
The FA Cup Final is the single biggest fixture in the British football calendar, with a rich history dating back to the first final all the way back in 1872.
This year’s finals sees an intriguing battle between two of the top sides in the Premier League.
Current Premier League champions, Man City, will be aiming to make the FA Cup final part of an historic domestic treble, but are facing a tough challenge against one of the Premier League’s surprise packages in Watford. Javi Gracia’s side have been one of the elite sides outside of the traditional ‘Big Six’, with their direct and physical style of play enabling them to make games into battles and to challenge even the top sides in the league on their day.
City have the undoubted advantage when looking at their playing squad, which features world class talent from back to front, but with Watford able to outcompete and bully their opponents most weeks, it is far from a given that City will be taking home the trophy.
History of the FA Cup and Famous Finals
The FA Cup is the oldest competition in football, and its rich history is what makes the final the occasion that it is today. Children of all generations have grown up watching the FA Cup Final - often the best chance for most local teams of lifting a major trophy.
Indeed it is some of the biggest shocks in the competition’s history which are the most memorable and historic, and epitomise what the FA Cup means to people in Britain.
The greatest shock was probably the infamous ‘Crazy Gang’ of Wimbledon beating a Liverpool side in 1988 who were up there with the very best in World football at the time. Sunderland’s victory over Leeds in 1973 was equally unexpected, as was Southampton’s victory over Man United in 1976, and those finals will live long in the memory - especially for the fans of the underdogs who saw their sides lift the trophy against the odds.
In terms of pure footballing brilliance, the Coventry vs Spurs final of 1987 has to be right up there in the history of the competition. A back and forth game went to extra time at 2-2, before Gary Mabbutt scored the winner in extra time in a thrilling final described by John Motson as the “greatest final I’ve had the pleasure of commentating on”
Watford beating Manchester City might not rank amongst the biggest shocks in the competition’s history, but this year’s final has all the hallmarks of another exciting final.
The Road to Wembley
Both sides entered the competition in the Third Round due to their Premier League status, and so both have come through five fixtures in order to make the final.
Manchester City’s route to the final was by far the simpler one. Their wins in their first three rounds saw them score a whopping 16 goals, including a 7-0 victory over Rotherham, a 5-0 dismantling of Burnley, and then a confident 4-1 win against minnows, Newport County.
Then came City’s real scare on their march to the final, with Championship side, Swansea, almost shocking the football world in their match at the Liberty Stadium. The Swans scored two early goals, and were even leading 2-0 until 69 minutes when the champions turned the game on its head.
The victory over Brighton in the semi-final, albeit by a single goal margin, was as comfortable as they come, and so Watford look likely to pose their first significant challenge in the competition.
Watford’s road to Wembley was far less spectacular, with a third round win at Woking getting them started before narrow victories over Newcastle, QPR and Crystal Palace took Watford through to the semi-finals.
It wasn’t looking good for the Hornets in the semi-final with Wolves leading their tie 2-0 going into the last 15 minutes of the game, but a spectacular comeback, inspired by Gerard Deulofeu, saw Watford take the game into extra time with a last minute Troy Deeney goal and then snatch the victory in extra time.
Watford fans could be forgiven for thinking that it might just be their year with performances like that in the lead up to only their second FA Cup Final appearance.
FA Cup Final 2019 Betting Tips
There is no doubting that Manchester City will be going into the final as the clear favourites, with current prices putting them around the 3/10 mark, while Watford are a 12/1 shot to win the match in 90 minutes.
Watford have had an outstanding season under Javi Gracia, but despite their strong and consistent performances, they haven’t been able to raise their level and beat the biggest teams in the league. Their win over Spurs in September was their only victory against any of the Big Six this season, so it would take a brave man to be confident in their chances of beating arguably the best side in the Premier League.
This is the FA Cup final, though, and Watford and their fans will have a huge desire to win this game in comparison to their more illustrious opponents - 12/1 is a huge price for an all Premier League fixture, especially when the stakes are this high.
Gerard Deulofeu has been Watford’s star forward in the second half of the season, and he is a tempting price of 18/1 to open the scoring after getting 11 goals already this season.
Alternative options include looking at the goals markets, and an intriguing option might be the bet against there being goals in this game, despite Man City’s firepower. Watford are known for their physical, defensive play, and they may be able to keep City quiet for long periods of the game. Much will depend on whether they can keep City quiet in the opening stages, with City renowned for scoring early goals that allow them to control the game. Under 2.5 goals is around 3/2, while City are 17/4 to score in the first 10 minutes of the game.
Whichever way you want to bet on the FA Cup Final, make sure to use only the best offers, as well as the top football bookmakers by using top10sportsbettingsites.co.uk.