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Watford v Man City: Talking Points

WING MAN: Raheem Sterling bursts past his marker in the reverse fixture against Watford.

WING MAN: Raheem Sterling bursts past his marker in the reverse fixture against Watford.

Club Journalist Rob Pollard picks out five topics ahead of the season finale...

Jesus and Aguero in tandem?

Pep Guardiola once again stated his belief that Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero can play in the same side when he addressed the media on Friday.

“Gabriel in Brazil, when he was young, he always played in the sides,” he said. “He just in the last period in Brazil and when he came here he played as a striker.

“I said from the beginning that both can play together."

Will we see them start together again on Sunday? Jesus played wide in the win over West Brom on Tuesday, playing in behind Aguero who operated as an out-and-out striker.

And it worked well, as City won 3-1 and played some fine football along the way.

One thing is for sure, with those two in the team, City look likely to score goals. Aguero has 31 in 44 games this season, and Jesus has bagged six in 10.

The Kompany factor

The improvement in City’s backline since Vincent Kompany’s return to full fitness has been obvious.

The Belgian has started eight out of the last nine matches, his best run of fitness in over two years.

City have looked tougher and more resilient at the back, and despite leaving the field early in the win over West Brom on Tuesday, Kompany is expected to make it 10 from 11 at Watford.

He’s quick, strong, a great reader of the game and a natural leader. His influence in such an important game will be vital.

Contrasting form

City head to Vicarage Road in fine form.

They have lost just one of their last 16 Premier League matches and are unbeaten in seven (winning five and drawing two).

And City’s form against Watford is also good. They haven’t lost to the Londoners in the Premier League, with Watford’s last win over City in any competition coming back in 1989.

Watford, on the other hand, are struggling. Monday’s 4-3 defeat at Chelsea was their fifth straight defeat – and they have only managed four goals from their last seven.

Mazzarri’s last stand

Sunday marks the final game of Walter Mazzarri’s time in charge of Watford after it was announced earlier this week the Italian would be leaving at the end of the season.

It’s the end of an era for Watford and with the pressure off, could the home side play more freely than they have in recent weeks?

City need to tread carefully.

A match of huge importance

“A final” was Pep Guardiola’s description on Friday. The City manager made it clear to everyone he understands the magnitude of the occasion.

City need a draw to secure Champions League football next season. A win would see them finish third and avoid the need for a Champions League playoff.

Defeat would leave them needing Liverpool, who face Middlesbrough, or Arsenal, who host Everton, to drop points. 

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