Opposition Focus | Man City

Ric Turner, of BlueMoon, the leading Manchester City forum, provides us with the inside track on Sunday's opponents

What sort of form are City in?
We're in fairly good form at the moment and are unbeaten in our last seven Premier League games. You could, of course, argue that it's too little too late, but at least it looks like we should get the all-important top four finish.
How have they been on the road?
Our away form has been pretty decent this season - only Chelsea have a better away record than us. Most of our problems have come at the Etihad, where many teams put men behind the ball and defend deep.
Will City be viewing this as a tricky last game or should it be a formality?
Watford are not in great form, and with nothing to play for hopefully we can get the win than would ensure third place. You looked decent against Chelsea the other night though, so I expect a tough game.

Pablo Zabaleta will be playing his last match for City on Sunday

The game between the two sides at the Eithad was quite tight. What are your memories of it? Gundogan got injured that night, as did Watford's Pereyra.
Yes, it was a fairly dull midweek game just before Christmas. It was a hard-fought win in the end, but the serious injury suffered by Gundogan took the shine off it a bit. I seem to recall you missed a great chance to level near the end, before we scored our second.

Are the problems at centre-half solved now Vincent Kompany is back?
Kompany is far and away our best defender, and the defence looks much better with him in. He seems to inspire confidence in his colleagues. The biggest challange though is keeping him fit.
Can Aguero and Jesus play in the same team?
They linked up extremely well against West Brom, so I'm confident that they can form an effective partnership in the future. Playing two up front is probably our best option in games where the opposition park the bus.
How can we expect City to line up tactically and personnel wise?
I think we'll go for a similar line-up to last night: Caballero, Fernandinho, Kompany, Otamendi, Kolarov, Toure, Silva, De Bruyne, Sane, Jesus, Aguero. The front five are all pretty fluid, but it's nominally a 4-3-3 formation.

Jose Holebas could be in for an unwanted Premier League record of 15 yellow cards in a season if he gets booked against City

What's the view on Guardiola as we approach the end of his first season? Is he in credit?
Expectations were pretty high when we secured Guardiola's services, as he was the most sought after manager in world football.

Winning the first 10 games led some to believe that we would walk the league this season, but I think many City fans realised that he had a big job on his hands.

We were still reliant on the core of Mancini's team (Kompany, Toure, Silva, Aguero), and had an ageing back-line in desperate need of an overhaul. I'm still extremely confident that he will get it right next season.
Do you expect City to spend big this summer?
Yes. We have a lot of senior players out of contract, which will free up some considerable space on the wage bill, and you would imagine Sheikh Mansour will back Guardiola to the hilt in the transfer market.
What's the view on Watford in the blue half of Manchester? How have you viewed our season?
I've always had a soft spot for Watford, as they were our opponents on one of my first ever trips to Maine Road (a midweek League Cup tie in 1987).

It's been a bit of a difficult season for you this year, but you're an established Premier League club now and I'm sure you'll be stronger next season.


Statement | Walter Mazzarri

Chairman Scott Duxbury issues the following statement:

“After the Board discussed with Walter Mazzarri the club’s future goals and aspirations, it was decided he will be stepping down from his position as the club’s Head Coach after the final game of the 2016/17 season.

“We thank Walter and his staff for the contribution they have made to Watford Football Club over the past year.”