Watford v Manchester City preview: John Stones set to return
Last Updated: 21/05/17 1:49pm
Manchester City need just a point to secure a top-four finish when they travel to Vicarage Road to face Watford, live on Sky Sports.
Pep Guardiola's men have destiny in their own hands as a win would guarantee the club a third-placed finish and automatic qualification for the Champions League.
It's been a rather underwhelming start to life in the Premier League for Guardiola to the extent that this will be the first time he has finished outside the top two in his nine-season career as manager.
Meanwhile, it will be the last time Watford head coach Walter Mazzarri will take his place in the home dug-out after the club announced the two will be parting ways at the end of the season.
It means Watford's next manager will be their ninth in five years and their eighth since the Pozzo family took over the club in 2012.
Watford head into Sunday's match with an injury crisis at centre-back.
Sebastian Prodl is suspended after getting sent-off at Chelsea while Christian Kabasele, Miguel Britos, Craig Cathcart and Younes Kaboul are all out injured.
Defender John Stones could return to the Manchester City starting line-up.
The England centre-back returned as a late substitute in the midweek Premier League win over West Brom after six games out with a groin injury.
Midfielders Fabian Delph (leg) and Ilkay Gundogan (knee), and goalkeeper Claudio Bravo (calf) are out while right-back Pablo Zabaleta makes his final appearance for the club. There is also uncertainty over the futures of Yaya Toure, Jesus Navas, Willy Caballero, Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy, who are all out of contract this summer.
Watford have failed to beat Manchester City in their last seven league encounters (D2 L5), losing each of the previous three Premier League contests.
City have scored two or more goals in six of the last nine league clashes between the two sides, including exactly two goals in each of the last three.
Sergio Aguero has scored four goals in his last three games against Watford in all competitions, including an FA Cup hat-trick against the Hornets in January 2013.
The Hornets are unbeaten in their three Premier League final day matches (W1 D2), with all three coming at Vicarage Road.
Manchester City have lost just one of their last eight games on the final day of the season (W5 D2), a loss against Norwich in the 2012/13 campaign.
Even if Watford win this match (currently 40 points), they'll still fall short of their Premier League points tally from 2015-16 under Quique Sanchez Flores (45).
The Hornets have scored the same number of goals as they did in the Premier League last season (40) but have conceded 13 goals more (63 v 50) with one game remaining.
Watford have lost their last five Premier League games and failed to score in four of these - they've never lost six in a row in their top-flight history.
This is the first time in Guardiola's nine-season career as a manager that he's failed to finish in the top two of the league. He'd previously won the title in seven seasons and finished second once (2011-12 with Barcelona).
Jose Holebas has equalled the Premier League record for the most yellow cards in a single season (14) and could set the outright record in this match should he be cautioned.
I expect Man City to win this one and going forward, they're great. The Watford manager has been told he will be leaving at the end of the season and they have finished very poorly, but what would Hull, Middlesbrough and Sunderland give to be Watford now?
For me, Watford have done great this season. They haven't finished well but they are safe and that's all you can ask for if you're Watford. I don't see anything else for them, I don't see them having great cup runs and they just need to stay up.
I don't see them in a position like West Brom or Stoke who are solid, middle of the table teams and they will be fighting around in that bottom half at the end of the coming seasons.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-3 (15/2 with Sky Bet)
Watford are the outsiders at 15/2 with Sky Bet to win, with Manchester City odds-on at 4/11 while the draw is 19/5. Aguero is the 11/4 favourite to score the first goal, for the home side Troy Deeney is seen as most likely at 9/1. City are 100/1 to miss out on a top-four finish, while Watford are priced at 13/8 to be relegated next season.
Watford v Manchester City is included in this weekend's Super 6 line-up, with £250,000 up for grabs again following jackpot wins in the last two rounds. Enter your predictions for free here.