Manchester City get Fernandinho boost ahead of historic treble bid

e0c02a25 fernandinho 1200x900 - Manchester City get Fernandinho boost ahead of historic treble bid

Pep Guardiola has the chance to do what no other manager in English football has ever done if he can guide Manchester City to FA Cup glory over Watford on Saturday.

The domestic treble – League Cup, League title and FA Cup – is something not even Manchester United’s iconic manager Sir Alex Ferguson could achieve in his storied career and the same goes for Liverpool legends Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley.

That City are on course for the historic milestone is a testament to the strength of their squad and the ability of the side to carry out the manager’s vision regardless of the personnel out on the pitch.

In bad news for Watford, Guardiola revealed ahead of the match that Brazilian midfield dynamo Fernandinho was in line to return for City while French international Benjamin Mendy has been ruled out. Fernandinho gives City’s outrageously talented midfield extra steel without detracting from their cutting edge.

Benjamin Mendy has not been selected because he’s not fit,” said the City boss.

“He will be ready next season, but he is not available for the final.

Fernandinho trained today and yesterday.”

City have already secured two pieces of the treble puzzle but Guardiola is not treating the clash with Watford at Wembley as a victory lap. The Spaniard feels that Watford have the quality to derail his team’s campaign for total domestic dominance.

“It is what it is after what happened last season,” he added.

“We won the most incredible Premier League ever, in terms of results and competitors. We are incredibly satisfied.

“We celebrated for a short time and were back to business in the last few days to focus on Watford because I know how difficult it was in the home game, with the the quality up front with [Roberto] Peyreyra, [Troy] Deeney and [Gerard] Deulofeu.

“The long balls to Deeney are always unstoppable, even with our tough central defenders. Maybe he is the best striker for setting the ball to his mates.

“We handled the defensive side really well, with set pieces they have Holebas who is an incredible taker.

“We spoke about the players and hopefully we can be focused for one more day, to compete again to be champions.”

Guardiola feels that defeat on Saturday won’t take too much away from the incredible season Manchester City have enjoyed.

“We could not win, but the effort would have been the same,” he explained.

“For one line you can win the league or not win the league, or you can win the FA Cup or not win.

“The important thing is to judge what we have done that season. To take back to back Premier Leagues, to be in the FA Cup final and to win four titles in one season would be incredible.

“But honestly, it won’t change my judgement of the team if tomorrow we don’t win.”

The FA Cup final between Manchester City and Watford from Wembley kicks off at 18:00 SAST on Saturday 18 May.

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