Manchester City set for 3 cheers

Updated: May 18, 2019, 17:56 IST | AFP | London

Man City eye historic domestic treble as they take on Watford in FA Cup final

Vincent Kompany
Vincent Kompany

Manchester City are on the brink of a domestic treble, with only Watford standing in their way in today's FA Cup final at the iconic Wembley Stadium. City became the first side in a decade to retain the English Premier League title last weekend, holding off Liverpool by a single point at the end of a thrilling race thanks to a run of 14 consecutive league wins to end the season. Pep Guardiola's men also retained the League Cup in February, the first leg of their potential domestic clean sweep, which has never before been done in England.

The club have also spent much of the week preceding the Wembley showcase responding to reports that they could be set for a season's ban from the Champions League over alleged breaches of financial fair play rules.

Hornets boss Javi Gracia
Hornets boss Javi Gracia

That issue notwithstanding however, Guardiola's side have smashed a host of records during his three-year spell in charge, despite a disappointing trophyless debut campaign in England. And now, a first-ever clean sweep of League Cup, Premier League and FA Cup would give this City side a claim to be the best England has ever produced.

"I'm desperate, desperate, desperate to win the FA Cup. You don't even know how much it's a priority," said City captain Vincent Kompany after lifting the Premier League last weekend.

Kompany could make his final City appearance at Wembley with the Belgian's contract up in the summer and no new deal agreed as yet. City won their fifth FA Cup in 2011, the first silverware since Sheikh Mansour's takeover, but will be wary of complacency after slipping up against Wigan at Wembley in 2013.

In contrast to City's trophy-laden decade, Watford have never won a major trophy. And despite losing twice to Guardiola's men in the league this season, Hornets boss Javi Gracia, whose side mounted an impressive comeback to beat Wolves in the semi-final, is taking heart from both games.

"I think it showed us it's possible. We lost both games but I think we showed that we can beat them. We competed really well in both games. In the first game, we lost 2-1 but had chances at the end. In the second one, we kept the result until the second half and then they scored from an offside position and the game changed," said Gracia.

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