Manchester City will be hoping to at least get a point when they travel to Watford on the final day of the Premier League season.
The Citizens can seal third position with a win, which will guarantee them a direct spot in the group stages of next season’s Champions League. Conversely, despite losing six of their last seven domestic games, Watford have still managed to escape relegation. The Hornets have nothing much to play for apart from pride, but they would no doubt like to end the campaign on a high.
Key Battle – Adrian Mariappa vs Gabriel Jesus
Missing the first half of the season and a big chunk of the second, Gabriel Jesus still has an impressive six goals in only nine appearances for City. The 20-year-old has been in outstanding goal scoring form since arriving in England, resulting in him often keeping the talented Sergio Aguero out of Pep Guardiola’s side. He has scored three and assisted two in his last four and is already undoubtedly a big part of the manager’s plans for next season. He would want to find the net once again on the final day, to keep this run going.
Watford’s form of late has been disastrous and it does not help that the majority of their defenders are either missing through injury or suspension. Sebastian Prodl’s red card in their last match against Chelsea leaves Adrian Mariappa as the only available centre-back for the Hornets. The former Crystal Palace defender made just his first league appearance of 2016-17 at the start of April, but Walter Mazzarri will need him to be the very top of his game if his side are to keep Manchester City out.
Miguel Britos, Craig Cathcart, Younes Kaboul and Roberto Pereyra are all set to miss out on the final game of the season with injury, while Prodl is suspended. Christian Kabasele remains a doubt.
Watford expected XI (4-4-2) : Huerelho Gomes, Darryl Janmaat, Adrian Mariappa, Juan Zuniga, Jose Holebas, Tom Cleverley, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Etienne Capoue, Nordin Amrabat, Troy Deeney, M’Baye Niang.
Claudio Bravo, Ilkay Gundogan and Fabian Delph will not feature for Pep Guardiola’s side for the trip to Watford.
Manchester City expected XI (4-1-4-1): Willy Caballero, Fernandinho, Nicolas Otamendi, Vincent Kompany, Gael Clichy, Yaya Toure, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero.
This will be only the 24th time that these two teams will meet each other, with City winning 12 and drawing five of the previous encounters. The last win for Watford came way back in 1989.
The two sides clashed earlier this season in mid-December, when City ran away 2-0 victors over Watford at the Etihad.
It is difficult to look beyond City for this one. Guardiola’s men look too strong to even consider otherwise. Watford’s dismal form and City’s attack only begs the question – How many?
Watford 0 Manchester City 4