Manchester City take on Watford in the FA Cup Final this evening. Although the cup competition is not as prestigious as it once was, it is still one of the most coveted prizes in England and all eyes will be at Wembley as this will be the final major match before the 2018/19 season is over for both teams.
Manchester City needs no introduction. Coming off the back of defending their league title against Liverpool and being crowned the kings of England for the second successive season, they’re clear favourites for this competition as well against a side 48 points behind them. Although City haven’t won the FA Cup since 2011, it’s difficult to look past the Manchester side to see the winners. City will be aiming for their first domestic treble and it would be a deserved end to another historic season under Pep Guardiola.
Watford on the other hand, have also enjoyed a quietly respectable season. Under the tactically astute Javi Gracia, they’ve solidified their mid-table position and tried to carve out their own identity. The season petered out for them in an unconvincing manner – three losses and one draw in the last four matches – their cup form has been impeccable. They produced an inspiring performance against Wolves in the semi-finals and have proven themselves to be worthy cup-challengers. How well can they perform against one of the best sides in the history of the Premier League? In this tactical analysis, we’ll attempt to answer that question from a tactical perspective, looking into what will be key elements of the game as well as the major battles between the players as well as the coaches.