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FA Cup final: Major talking points as Manchester City face Watford at Wembley chasing domestic treble

The FA Cup trophy
The FA Cup trophy

It's not just the treble that people are talking about when Man City take on Watford in the FA Cup final, we look at the main talking points for the Wembley showdown.

Pep Guardiola's side will be out to secure a clean sweep of all three domestic trophies when they face Javi Gracia's well-drilled team.

City have been stunned before by the underdogs at Wembley, and after a long, hard title race could they be vulnerable to a shock result?

Here's the main talking points.

City chasing historic treble

The battle for the Premier League title proved to be the most exciting in years, as City held off the challenge of Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool to defend their crown following victory at Brighton on Sunday.

With the two other domestic trophies already in the bag, Pep Guardiola's men are on the verge of an impressive clean sweep - which might just help ease the pain of their Champions League shortcomings.

However, as the history of the famous old knockout competition shows - take nothing for granted on FA Cup final day.

Watch out for super sub Deulofeu

Spaniard Gerard Deulofeu helped the Hornets produce a remarkable recovery to beat Wolves after extra-time in their semi-final, having been 2-0 down with just 11 minutes to go.

Sent on as a substitute just after the hour, the former Barcelona man produced a brilliant chip to reduce the deficit.

After captain Troy Deeney had equalised from a penalty deep into added time, Deulofeu then completed the turnaround with another composed finish following a swift counter to make it 3-2.

Gracia's admitted the forward had been "angry" to find himself starting on the bench - and such is the impact Deulofeu can have, City might just be hoping he has used up all of his frustration in helping get the Hornets back to Wembley for the final.

More Wembley joy for Sterling?

City's England forward Raheem Sterling has enjoyed a stand-out campaign for both club and country.

The 24-year-old was named the Professional Footballers' Association Young Player of the Year and then voted as the 2019 Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association.

Sterling converted the decisive spot-kick as City beat Chelsea on penalties to win the Carabao Cup final in February.

His 17 Premier League goals helped Guardiola's side secure the title - and another at Wembley could just seal a domestic treble.

Gomes making Watford farewell

Veteran Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes is expected to make his final Watford appearance at Wembley, having started all five of the FA Cup ties.

Hornets' fans might just be praying for some divine intervention to aid the 38-year-old former Tottenham stopper, likely to be playing one last game before hanging up his gloves.

His regular first-team opportunities now limited, Gomes has been contemplating retirement for a while - but will not have to worry about what the future might hold.

"I am prepared," Gomes said. "I got a call-up from God to be a pastor, so maybe this can happen."

Another Wigan shock on the cards?

Should City need any warning of just what can happen when overwhelming favourites run out at Wembley for the FA Cup final, then a quick clip of Watson's late header for Wigan in 2013 should provide plenty of food for thought.

Roberto Mancini's men were expected to make light work of a Wigan side who had spent the whole season battling against relegation and eventually went down.

Nothing, though, went according to script as the Latics - who had been led onto the pitch by owner Dave Whelan, a man with his own 1960 FA Cup final story to tell - produced a major upset.

After Pablo Zabaleta had been shown a second yellow card during the closing stages, Wigan eventually made their extra man count in stoppage time when Watson, who had not long recovered from a broken leg, headed home a corner at the near post.

Mancini was sacked a couple of days later, while Championship-bound Wigan went on to play in Europe.

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Most Read Football

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages
1

Paper Talk: Wolves close on Marega

Three former players to decide Manchester United transfer targets - and a £30m striker heading to Wolves. Plenty more too in a bumper Thursday edition.

Romelu Lukaku
2

Lukaku odds-on for Inter move

Romelu Lukaku is odds-on to swap Manchester United for Inter Milan after growing reports in Italy suggest he will be the first target of prospective new manager Antonio Conte.

Newport v Tranmere in the Sky Bet League Two play-off final at Wembley3

Rovers to secure promotion

The first of the games on the Sky Bet EFL play-off weekends final comes from League Two, where Tom Carnduff is backing Tranmere to go up.

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages4

Paper Talk: £105m Man United move

Man United willing to meet Joao Felix's £105m release clause, while Liverpool are eyeing a Bournemouth star, according to the back pages.

Sporting Life's Sky Bet Championship final guide for Aston Villa v Derby5

Aston Villa v Derby match guide

All you need to know for the Sky Bet Championship play-off final between Aston Villa and Derby at Wembley including team news, tips, predictions, stats and more.

Football Tips

Newport v Tranmere in the Sky Bet League Two play-off final at Wembley

Rovers to secure promotion

The first of the games on the Sky Bet EFL play-off weekends final comes from League Two, where Tom Carnduff is backing Tranmere to go up.

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Extra-time needed on Sunday

Charlton take on Sunderland in the Sky Bet League One play-off final and Tom Carnduff thinks more than 90 minutes will be required.

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