THEY won’t see much of the ball at Wembley but Watford have the weapons in their armoury to cause Manchester City some serious problems.
If they’re going to stand a chance they have to make sure they play to talisman Troy Deeney’s strengths.
He doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves but if the Hornets can get men around him then he has the physicality and ability to hold the ball up to make life really difficult for Vincent Kompany and Co.
If they drop too deep when defending, Deeney will be isolated when they win it back and then it could be a long afternoon for him.
But if they can turn defence into attack quickly, and get the likes of Will Hughes, Roberto Pereyra and Gerard Deulofeu in close to him, then they will fancy their chances.
Set-pieces are also going to be huge for Javi Gracia’s side.
Not blessed with much height in his team, Pep Guardiola has said he will be praying and hoping for the best when facing them.
Watford, through Craig Cathcart, Adrian Mariappa, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Deeney, are a far taller side.
And with Jose Holebas’ excellent delivery, this could be their best avenue to score.
So even if Watford get really deep free-kicks they should get it in the box, playing for second balls.
To stand any chance they need to ensure City don’t dominate the midfield.
They play 4-2-2-2 — which is basically a 4-4-2 with Pereyra and Hughes as narrow wingers — and get their width from the full-backs.
What they do well when they lose the ball is getting numbers in the middle of the pitch, more often than not outnumbering opponents.
There is a great understanding between all the Watford players, knowing their exact roles in the system.
You can see it before games, where the two centre-backs warm-up together, as do the two central-midfielders and all other units across the pitch.
They are going to spend large parts of the game without the ball, so it’s all going to be about staying in a strong shape at the back and staying in the game.
And if they can do that, they definitely have the capabilities to hurt City.
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