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17th May 2019

John Barnes explains how Watford can cause an upset in the FA Cup final

John Barnes speaks exclusively to JOE ahead of the FA Cup final between his former team Watford and Premier League champions Man City

Reuben Pinder

Four English sides have managed to beat Manchester City this season

Watford will be hoping to become the fifth, as they take on the Premier League champions in this season’s FA Cup final at Wembley this Saturday.

It will be Javi Gracia’s toughest challenge of his tenure at Vicarage Road, holding a side who scored 95 goals in the league this season at arm’s length for long enough to snatch a winner.

Speaking on behalf of BT Sport, former Watford player John Barnes told JOE how the Hornets can set up against City to give themselves the best chance of causing an upset, taking inspiration from Leicester City’s valiant performance at the Etihad on the penultimate weekend of the league season.

“It’s a one off so anything can happen,” Barnes said.

“Obviously Manchester City are overwhelming favourites, but if you look at the way Watford play, and you look at the way Leicester played against Manchester City whereby they had one up front and five in midfield, defended in numbers, defended deep, didn’t push too far forward, it took a fantastic shot from Vincent Kompany to win.

“I think that’s the way Watford have to approach the game, and look to set pieces to maybe cause an upset,” Barnes explained.

The Watford and Liverpool legend went on to caveat this by acknowledging that City are huge favourites, dismissing any talk of complacency.

“Manchester City are overall favourites and they’re playing with a lot of confidence, they won’t play with complacency because will not let them get complacent,” he said.

“They can create history by being the first team in England to do so. So I expect Manchester City to win but anything can happen.”

Watch the Emirates FA Cup Final live on Saturday from 4pm on BT Sport 2. Watch live on TV and via the BT Sport App. For more info visit