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Manchester City vs Watford, FA Cup final 2019: What time is kick-off, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?

What is it?

This is the climax to the domestic season: the FA Cup final between Manchester City and Watford at Wembley Stadium.

When is it?

Having been returned to its place as the season-ending fixture, it will be held on Saturday May 18, 2019.

What time is kick-off?

It will begin at 5pm.

What TV channel is it on?

There are two options for your viewing pleasure as the match will be shown on both BBC1 and BT Sport 2.

How did they reach the final?

Manchester City

Third round, January 6: Won 7-0 v Rotherham, Etihad Stadium

City fielded a strong side and showed no mercy against the Championship strugglers. Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez, Nicolas Otamendi and Leroy Sane all got on the scoresheet for Guardiola’s men, while the Millers’ Semi Ajayi turned one into his own net.

Fourth round, January 26: Won 5-0 v Burnley, Etihad Stadium

The Clarets proved no obstacle for City, who inflicted a second 5-0 hammering on Sean Dyche’s side in three months. This time the goals came from Jesus, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero with an own goal from Kevin Long.

Fifth round, February 16: Won 4-1 v Newport, Rodney Parade

After a goalless first half, City upped a gear to put an end to the League Two side’s memorable cup run. Sane and Foden struck to put City on their way through. Padraig Amond threatened an unlikely comeback with a late reply but their hopes were quickly extinguished by Foden and Mahrez.

Quarter-finals, March 16: Won 3-2 v Swansea, Liberty Stadium

City came from behind to claim a place in the semi-finals with a dramatic, late and contentious victory at the Liberty Stadium. City trailed 2-0 after 29 minutes after a penalty from Matt Grimes and a fine effort from Bersant Celina but got themselves back into the game through Bernardo Silva after 69 minutes. City went on to win in controversial circumstances with debate over the penalty which allowed them to equalise and replays suggesting Aguero’s headed winner should have been disallowed for offside.

Semi-finals, April 6: Won 1-0 v Brighton, Wembley

A diving header from Jesus in the fourth minute following a pinpoint De Bruyne cross allowed City to book their place in the final. Brighton did rally in the second half and Aymeric Laporte produced a fine clearance to deny Glenn Murray, while Kyle Walker may have been fortunate not to be sent off early on, but City were largely untroubled.

Gabriel Jesus scored the only goal of the game to see off Brighton

Gabriel Jesus scored the only goal of the game to see off Brighton Credit: ap

Watford

Third round, January 6: Won 2-0 v Woking, Laithwaite Community Stadium

Captain Troy Deeney came off the bench to wrap up Watford’s third-round win over non-league Woking – who had Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler in the dugout as assistant manager. Some 110 places separated the two clubs in the football pyramid, but the Cardinals gave a spirited performance. Will Hughes broke the deadlock in the 13th minute, yet it needed Deeney’s late second-half effort to secure victory over the National League South side.

Fourth round, January 26: Won 2-0 v Newcastle, St James’ Park

Andre Gray and Isaac Success justified Gracia’s decision to rotate his entire team as they fired Watford into the fifth round. Gray’s strike just after the hour and a late second from Success were enough to settle a forgettable tie in front of a crowd of 34,604 as the magic of the FA Cup failed to arrive on Tyneside, both managers having made some 18 changes between them.

Fifth round, February 15: Won 1-0 v QPR, Loftus Road

Another away tie saw Watford progress to the last eight, but Gracia’s side had to ride their luck at Loftus Road. Championship strugglers QPR had wasted enough chances to build a convincing lead before Etienne Capoue’s fortuitous effort in first-half stoppage time broke the deadlock. The midfielder swept the ball in with a low, angled drive after Tom Cleverley’s completely mis-hit shot had dropped at his feet in the penalty area following a corner, which proved enough to put the Premier League side through.

Quarter-finals, March 16: Won 2-1 v Crystal Palace, Vicarage Road

At last in front of their home supporters, the Hornets produced a late show to see off the Eagles and book a trip to Wembley. Capoue put Watford in front in the 27th minute. However, after Michy Batshuayi levelled on the hour – when he charged down a poor clearance from Adrian Mariappa – the tie looked all set for extra-time. However, substitute Gray, who had not long been sent on, grabbed a winner with just 11 minutes left when he drilled in a clever chipped pass by Roberto Pereyra.

Semi-finals, April 7: Won 3-2 (after extra-time) v Wolves, Wembley

Substitute Gerard Deulofeu inspired Watford to only their second FA Cup final following an extraordinary 3-2 comeback win against Wolves. The Hornets looked to be heading out of the competition after goals from Matt Doherty and Raul Jimenez in each half appeared to have put Nuno Espirito Santo’s men in total control. However, an exceptional clipped effort from Spaniard Deulofeu provided the catalyst for a staggering finish as captain Troy Deeney then equalised with a stoppage-time penalty. Wolves were left on the back foot – and former Barcelona frontman Deulofeu secured his place in Hornets’ folklore by racing through in the first half of extra-time to coolly slot home a low, angled effort, completing a most remarkable semi-final comeback.

Watford left it late to see off Wolves

Watford left it late to see off Wolves Credit: getty images

What is the team news?

Manchester City have few injury concerns to worry about. Kevin de Bruyne is in contention to start after coming on as a substitute in victory over Brighton last weekend. Fernandinho could also be fit enough to feature as he battles to recover from a knee injury. Claudio Bravo and Benjamin Mendy remain the only long-term absentees.

Watford expect to have Gerard Deulofeu back for the match after the Spaniard came off an hour into their defeat against West Ham last weekend with a dead leg. He did not take part in full training on Wednesday but should be fit to return to the side.

Jose Holebas will also be available having had his suspension overturned following a red card against West Ham. Tom Cleverley is available for selection, but Sebastian Prodl and Domingos Quina will be absent.

What are they saying?

Manchester City defender Oleksandr Zinchenko:

It’s an unbelievable feeling to be honest, to play at that stadium in the final and to go to fight for a title. A final is always special and we can’t wait for that.

For me when I was younger the cup was just as important as the Premier League. I don’t know how other players think about it, but for me it’s like this.

I would dream of playing at a high level. I didn’t realise that I would be here and getting ready for an FA Cup final. It’s a dream.

Watford have very good players, especially up top. Their manager and the way they play – I like it. It’s going to be tough against them, I’m sure of that, but I think every single game our target is to show everyone who we are.

Heurelho Gomes

Will this be Heurelho Gomes’ last match for Watford? Credit: getty images

Watford head coach Javi Gracia on goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes:

First of all, I don’t know if it will be the last game. I would like to speak with him and the club and see if he is able to carry on next season, we have to speak about that.

We will see, the keeper on Saturday, I don’t like to speak about it. I only focus on the game and try to choose the best keeper for the game, after that we will see what happens in the future.

Gracia on selected his starting XI:

Yes, I have decided. Always you can change something but when you prepare the game, I was thinking about it many days ago, and I think about how it is better to defend, better to attack and the players who are better to do that.

At the end, you can change because I have different options, I want them all to play the final but that is not possible.

What are the odds?

  • Manchester City win: 2/9
  • Draw: 11/2
  • Watford win: 11/1

What’s our prediction?

As tempting as those long Watford odds might be, they are such for a reason. Javi Gracia’s side go into this game having lost their last three matches and with only a victory over Huddersfield since they secured their place in this final on April 7. They will not win this one.

Manchester City 3 Watford 0

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