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Manchester City v Watford History

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The Blues and Hornets have been in the same division to face each other only a handful of times.

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Manchester City were founded, as Manchester City, in 1884 with Watford founded three years earlier in 1881 and yet, the sides have met very few times in competitive games. Part of this has to do with the fact that Watford spent most of its early years in the lower leagues while City were in the top flight, or sometimes the second tier, during that period.

In fact, the first meeting between the two, in competitive action, was on 4th September 1982 a century and more after each sides formation, at Maine Road. That's only four days from being exactly thirty three years ago from this weekends game. City were relegated that season as Watford finished second to Liverpool. An interesting fact about that game was the injury to Joe Corrigan with just minutes on the clock. Back then goalkeepers were rarely named as substitutes and so City defender Bobby McDonald spent almost all the game as goalkeeper. Dennis Tueart scored the only goal as City made it three wins from their opening three games. That season also marked the first season in which sponsors names appeared on City shirts with SAAB being City's first suitors.

In the only twenty games, Cup and League, between the two, City have only lost six times. The last defeat was back in 1989 when both sides were in the second tier of English football. In top flight League football only the sides have only met eight times and it is in those eight games which have Watford with a clear advantage. That opening win almost 33 years back was City's only victory. The return game was a 2-0 defeat while both matches in the 1985/86 season were Watford wins. In that season City and Watford would actually meet five times with their FA Cup meeting going to two replays before City would lose 3-1.

You have to go back to the 2006/07 season for the last time these two sides met up in Premier League competition with three American players between the two sides. Watford's Jay DeMerit lined up in both games while City featured Claudio Reyna at home and DaMarcus Beasley for the game at Vicarage Road. Both were tied games, 0-0 at the City of Manchester Stadium and 1-1 away at Watford. It was that 1-1 in April, with Darius Vassell opening the scoring for City before a Priskin equalizer, saw Watford's relegation from the Premier League confirmed.

So links with players between the two clubs? Of course Goalkeeper David James started his career at Watford before moving to City via Liverpool, Villa and West Ham. Another City goalkeeper Tony Coton is another link. Signed by City from Watford the keepers reputation is somewhat tarnished. Not happy with being second choice to Eike Immel at City he decided to move to United to be third choice! He never played first team football for United and if fact only got onto the subs bench once and was moved on to Sunderland.

Both sides have also had ex England Managers take control of their side. City had Keegan and Sven-Goran Eriksson both take control of City as their next management job after the National one. For Watford it was a return of their old Manager as Graham Taylor had a club cushion both before and after the England job and hopefully, after Saturdays game, I hope we once more hear him say, ‘Do I not like that'.