Man City have their future in their hands on the final day of the Premier League season. If they win then they will hold onto third. If they lose or draw then they could be gifting it to Liverpool. It’s a huge game, even if there is no title on the line.
It’s not going to be all about them either, because Watford have just as much to play for. They are currently 16th, but they could technically move as high as 12th. The extra prize money and prestige that such a finish could bring would be worth several million more to them. It may not be as much as the tens of millions City will likely get if they win, but it’s all relative. In fact, £5 or £10 million is probably worth more to Watford than £100 million is worth to Manchester City.
As I mentioned above, Watford still have a lot to play for. If they can get something from this game then they can make life easier for themselves in the next season. Depending on what the individual contracts say, there could also be some extra bonuses in store for their players if they get the win and move up the table.
So, make no mistake about it there is something to play for and they will not be willing to roll over and let City get the better of them. There is also the fact that many of their players will be hoping either for a move away from the club or for a new contract, so that will likely inspire some hard-working, individual performances.
When they have shown a desire to play and when they have maintained that to the end, Watford have looked very good. They have beaten some big teams this season and they have taken others to the wire. The fact that they are at home will also help. In truth, they only likely have a chance if Manchester City are caught unawares and/or are having a bad day. But that’s a possibility and City will know that a lackluster performance here could be gifting the points to Watford and third place to Liverpool.
Manchester City will be expecting Liverpool to win at Middlesbrough and they will be expecting them to win by several goals. That means that City need to match them in order to hold onto third position. There is a lot to play for here, because while it’s not quite a league title, it’s still a vast sum of money and all of the perks that go with automatic Champions League qualification.
For a team like Manchester City you would expect them to be fighting for the title and not for third. But that’s where they find themselves and it’s what they need to focus on, otherwise it’s just another embarrassment for a manager and a squad that should be doing more.
Luckily, City are in full force right now. Jesus is on fire, Aguero is playing well alongside him, Sterling finally seems to be working the mistakes out of his game, and De Bruyne is finding his feet once more. This is a team that can take on the world when it is fully fit and one that looks fairly average when not. But right now they don’t need to worry about mediocrity because they are at their best.
We should see the best of Manchester City here. That’s bad news for Watford and for Liverpool, but it’s great news for City fans, for neutrals and for Pep, who will be able to finish this season with some respect as the backroom staff and the fans forgive his mistakes and look toward a promising future.
Manchester City will have far too much for Watford. I think that Jesus will control things up front as De Bruyne sets the pace of the game behind him and Sterling looks to unsettle the Watford defense. It’s a combination that has worked very well when those players are fit and playing together, and it’s one that really can match any defense on its day.
I’m not convinced that City will run away with this because they will still be a little nervy, knowing that anything less than a win will be a huge fly in the ointment. But they should able to overcome the -1 handicap, possibly with a 2-0 or 3-1 victory.
Betting Tip: Manchester City -1, 1.90 @ Bet365