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Manchester City can become the first team to win the domestic treble by beating Watford in the FA Cup final.

City's pursuit of the quad ended in dramatic circumstances when VAR intervened to disallow Raheem Sterling's late 'goal' in the Champions League quarter-final against Tottenham, but they have not been denied in domestic competition.

Neither of City's first two trophies came easily – they needed penalties to defeat Chelsea in the League Cup final and finished just one point ahead of Liverpool in the Premier League – and the contest against the Hornets, who have had their best season since the Graham Taylor years, could be closer and more entertaining than the markets anticipate.

Punters have been falling over themselves to back City, who are 1-4 to win inside normal time and 1-7 to lift the trophy.

But Pep Guardiola's side showed defensive weaknesses during their 3-2 quarter-final success at Swansea and a clean sheet may elude them against the Hornets.

Expectations of a mismatch are fuelled by their league performance, as ten places and 48 points separated the sides, and their recent head-to-head record - City have won all of their last ten meetings.

But Watford have given decent accounts of themselves against City this season, losing 2-1 at Vicarage Road and 3-1 at the Etihad, and they are unlikely to go down quietly.

Their powers of recovery were demonstrated in the semi-final against Wolves when they trailed 2-0 after 78 minutes and fought back to win 3-2 after extra-time.

Gerard Deulofeu started the ball rolling with a mesmeric finish and completed the turnaround in clinical fashion.

He and Troy Deeney were substitutes at the Etihad in March when Javi Gracia made seven changes to his starting line-up but their introduction caused immediate problems for City with Deulofeu scoring a minute after his introduction.

A stronger Watford side will take on City at Wembley and Deulofeu is their best hope of making an impact.

The Spanish striker has had a stop-start career but is starting to realise his huge potential.

During his time at Barcelona and Everton questions were raised over his lack of consistency and physical fitness and for a large part of this season those criticisms seemed justified.

In the first six months of the campaign he scored three goals in 19 appearances and completed the full game on just four occasions.

But he doubled his tally with a hat-trick in Watford's 5-1 victory at Cardiff in February and hasn't looked back.

The 25-year-old has struck nine times in his last 13 appearances, is an obvious danger to City, and looks overpriced at 16-1 to score first.

City players dominate the first-scorer betting with Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling deemed the main threats at 14-5 and 4-1.

Given their outstanding contributions this season - Aguero was City's top scorer while Sterling won the Football Writers' Footballer of the Year award - it is right that they dominate the market.

But the status of other City players at shorter odds than Deulofeu is questionable.

Kevin De Bruyne gets a 10-1 quote but has netted just once in his last 16 appearances and he may not be fully fit having only recently returned from a hamstring injury.

David Silva is even shorter odds at 9-1 despite having failed to score in 27 appearances since the turn of the year.

The Spanish player's goal threat has been reduced because he has often had to play a deeper role to offset the regular absences of injury-hit holding midfielder Fernandinho.

When Fernandinho plays it allows the other midfielders greater freedom and makes City tougher to play against.

His absence from the starting line-up for the second leg of City's Champions League quarter-final against Tottenham had a crucial bearing on the outcome – allowing space for Heung-Min Son to run riot.

In the run-up to that game there were fitness concerns over the Brazilian and the same applies this week as the 34-year-old returned to full training with strapping on his injured knee.

However, after three-and-a-half weeks on the sidelines, Fernandinho seems unlikely to start and his absence would increase the chances of a high-scoring outcome.

City have failed to score in just four of 60 matches this season and they were all against big six clubs.

Watford played a cagey game at the Etihad and got to half-time with the scores level, but keeping City out for 90 minutes or 120 – as Chelsea did in the EFL Cup final – looks beyond them.

Defensive errors have crept in during the final three weeks of the season with Gracia's side losing 2-1 to Wolves, 3-0 to Chelsea and 4-1 to West Ham.

They need to tighten up to have a chance because further mistakes will almost certainly be punished by one of the most ruthless teams in Premier League history.

It is highly likely Watford will fall short, but they can grab a  consolation goal, allowing favourites-backers to pump up the price by siding with City to win and both teams to score.

Manchester City win & both teams to score
G Deulofeu first scorer

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Match in Focus


West Brom v Stoke

Home WinDrawAway Win
Key stats
  • West Brom have lost one of their last 10 matches against Stoke
Expert verdict
West Brom have lost just two games this season and they should be too strong for Stoke at the Hawthorns. The Baggies are top following Leeds’ defeat to Sheffield Wednesday and they can cement their place in pole position against a side who have won just one of their last five away league fixtures.