A David and Goliath battle between Premier League teams Manchester City and Watford is on the cards in this year’s final. With this in mind anything can happen and everyone likes an underdog.
We look back at the biggest upsets in FA Cup history
Wimbledon vs Liverpool, FA Cup Final 1988
This was said to be the greatest FA Cup final of all time. Wimbledon came into the match as the clear underdogs on the biggest stage in football. Wimbledon had reached the height of their existence setting up a great spectacle against Liverpool. Wimbledon better known as “The Crazy Gangs” went into the lead when Lawrie Sanchez scored and held out the game after goal keeper Dave Beasant became the first keeper to save a penalty in an FA Cup Final. What a feat for the first division team defying the odds stacked against them.
Wigan vs Manchester City, FA Cup Final 2013
Manchester City had risen to the top of English football making their comeback as one of the giants of the game and were definitely the favourites going against minnows Wigan.
Wigan reached the final having never won a major title in the history of their club spanning 81 years. A late header sealed the game for Wigan making history in the process. Having won the FA Cup, Wigan went on to lose to Arsenal in the Premier League becoming the first club to clinch the FA Cup title and get relegated in the same year.
Taking a closer look at this year’s finalists
Man City has been highly successful in the FA Cup over the years with their first victory coming in 1904. Since then, City have gone on to win 5 titles and have reached the finals on 10 occasions. Their last successful Cup came in 2011 and they will be hoping that their underdog rivals do not get the upper hand, which was the case in the 2013 Final. After their last Final, City seem to have unfinished business in the Cup and will be motivated to ensure that the result ends in their favour.
Man City have just been crowned champions in the 2019 Premier League and will be looking to build on this success by adding another title to their trophy cabinet. It almost seems as if they have a layer of invincibility at the moment when competing in England.
Their form of late has been quite remarkable as they went toe to toe with Liverpool for the Premier League title. They went on to win their last five Premier League Matches including a well worked 2-0 victory against Local rivals Manchester United.
In their last match of the Premier League season, City went on to win it comfortably 4-1 vs Brighton. A Glenn Murray early goal stunned the City fans and Liverpool were given a glimmer of hope to win the title. This however lasted 83 seconds before Sergio Aguero levelled the scores and things turned to normal with City rounding out the match with goals coming from Aymeric Laporte, Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan.
Watford first played in the FA Cup in 1886 when football was not the organised game it is today. They had to wait over 80 years to contest their first semi finals which took place in 1970. Since then, Watford have played in five Semi finals over the last five decades with their most recent appearance being in 2016 when they faced Crystal Palace in a losing cause. This year they will be looking to win this prestigious trophy for the first time in their first final, even though luck does not look to be on their side with their current form.
Watford finished this year’s Premier League in a respectable 11th position however, they seem to be struggling of late with multiple sub-par performances including heavy losses to Chelsea and Wolves. Their last win in the league occurred five weeks ago against Huddersfield who will be relegated this year.
The situation at Watford was made worse as their losing streak continued with them being beaten 4-1 by West Ham United in their last Premier League match. The Hammers moved 2-0 up before the break, with goals from skipper Mark Noble and Manuel Lanzini whilst Watford clawed a goal back by Gerard Deulofeu. The last straw was Watford’s Jose Holebas being red carded for bringing a player down. Thereafter the flood gates opened and they never got back into the game. Holebas looks set to miss the FA Cup final after picking up the red card, however Watford will contest the suspension in a last ditch attempt to ensure his participation.
The odds do not look in Watford’s favour when looking at their poor form lately and going head to head with giants Manchester City will be a tough task. This being said, football is unpredictable and anything can happen on the day.
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