Manchester City v Watford team news

Manchester City
Fernandinho is set to start at centre-half for Manchester City when they take on Watford seeking a repeat of last season's FA Cup final.

Fernandinho is set to start at centre-half for Manchester City when they take on Watford seeking a repeat of last season’s FA Cup final.

The Citizens have enjoyed recent meetings with the Hornets, scoring 25 goals in the last six encounters, with a sizeable chunk of those coming in the clash at Wembley in May.

Pep Guardiola’s men won the final 6-0 to complete a historic domestic treble, stretching their winning run against Watford to 11 matches.

The fixture is, therefore, a good chance to bounce back from last week’s 3-2 loss at Norwich City, although they went some way to doing that by recording a 3-0 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League in midweek.

Guardiola chopped and changed his team for the game in Ukraine and could mix it up again with Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Bernando Silva pushing for recalls.

However, one area the Spaniard is unlikely to tinker with is in the heart of his defence where Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi operated on Wednesday.

With Aymeric Laporte and John Stones still out injured, Guardiola has few options but to stick with the South American duo for the visit of Watford.

Guardiola has a decision to make at left-back with Benjamin Mendy now back fit, the Frenchman making his comeback against Shakhtar.

Oleksandr Zinchenko has done well in Mendy’s absence but is likely to make way in the not too distant future.

Watford make the trip to Manchester having collected just their second point of the season against Arsenal last weekend, battling back from 2-0 down to secure a 2-2 draw.

The nature of the comeback meant there were plenty of positives to be taken from Quique Sanchez Flores’ first game back in the Watford dug out, the Spaniard having returned from a second spell in charge following the sacking of Javi Gracia.

Flores says it will take time to “establish order” and move the club forward, believing the players need to regather their mental strength having sunk to the foot of the table.

Flores is set to make changes for the clash at the Etihad Stadium with Roberto Pereyra having come off the bench to score against Arsenal.

Record signing Ismaila Sarr also did well off the bench, although Flores might take a pragmatic approach given who the opposition are.

Craig Cathcart is still unavailable due to a thigh injury, while Isaac Success and Troy Deeney are long-term absentees.