By Thomas Reynolds
Last Updated: 14th May 2019
Manchester City are 1/7 to win the FA Cup and a first domestic treble against a Watford side they’ve beaten for 10 meetings in succession. What possible hope do the Hornets have?
Javi Gracia’s men are 11/1 underdogs in the match betting, 9/2 outsiders in the to-lift-the-trophy odds and haven’t beaten a team that avoided relegation from the top flight this term since March.
Despite this, there are plenty of portents of a positive nature for those of a Golden Boys persuasion ahead of their first FA Cup final since 1984.
City lost their last FA Cup final despite being huge favourites
Ok, so back in 2012/13 City weren’t quite the force they are today, but they had won their maiden Premier League title the previous season.
Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and David Silva are all still active from the side that were sunk by a Wigan Athletic side on their way to relegation from the top flight.
Premier League/FA Cup doubles are increasingly rare
Just two sides have done the league and FA Cup double since the turn of the millennium, with just one of those to achieve the feat achieving it inside the last 16 completed seasons.
Meanwhile, no team has ever done the domestic treble City seek in the history of English football.
Pep Guardiola teams haven’t been double machines either
Guardiola may be the world’s most feted currently-operational gaffer, but even he hasn’t been capable of winning dashings of doubles every time his teams won their domestic league.
He managed the feat in only one of three title-winning campaigns with his paradigm-shiftingly brilliant Barcelona brainchild, while his City side flopped out away to old FA Cup tormentors Wigan last term.
Yes, he did land two Bundesliga/DFB Pokal doubles in three campaigns at Bayern Munich, but back then German football was a toll-free pick and mix for the Bavarian bullyboys.
They’ve found the net in their last three meetings with City
Going into the final knowing they have the ability to breach their adversaries should give the Vicarage Road outfit a sizeable confidence boost.
They were one of only four teams to strike in both their Premier League clashes with Guardiola’s goliaths this term and are 10/11 to bag at least once.
Close FA Cup finals are the norm
Any nay-saying Hornets foreseeing a sobering shellacking from the super-slick Citizens can take heart from the levelling effects of FA Cup final combat.
Just one of the past 14 deciders saw the winners prevail by more than a single goal, with five of those going to extra time.
So emphatic is Watford’s underdog status at Wembley, that they’re trading at odds of 11/10 to win in the (+2) handicap betting, a price that’s sure to appeal given the five persuaders you’ve just consumed.