Is this how Watford can beat Wolves? Gavin Mahon suggests FA Cup tactical plan

Sunday, April 7th, 2019 7:00am

By James Gray @jamestingray

Watford are one win away from a first FA Cup final in 35 years and former midfielder Gavin Mahon thinks they do have a chance to beat Wolves, if they can exploit their tactical weaknesses.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have knocked out Liverpool and Manchester United on the way to the semi-final and they repeated the feat of beating the Red Devils during the week, a Chris Smalling own goal consigning Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men to a 2-1 Premier League defeat.

But Wolves have more regularly dropped points against sides in the bottom six than those challenging for Europe.

Mahon was a two-time FA Cup semi-finalist during his years at Vicarage Road and, now an agent based in the Midlands, he reckons that is where Watford must draw their inspiration for their tactical plan.

“When I’ve watched the teams they have managed to get something against, they’ve actually attacked them which has given Wolves the opportunity to hit them on the break,” Mahon told Up Front with James Gray (weekdays 1pm-3.30pm).

“Teams that are defensive-minded and get a lot of men behind the ball - like a lot of teams at the bottom of the Premier League - they struggle to break them down.

“When they play against the top sides, that’s when they are able to exploit it so it will be interesting to see what tactics Watford go for at the weekend.”

If they are able to overcome Wolves and reach the FA Cup final, it will be their first appearance there since 1984, when Everton triumphed 2-0 at Wembley.

They have reached four FA Cup semi-finals since, suggesting a strong affinity between the Hornets and the competition, but have lost all four and Mahon reckons that their Premier League exploits could ensure they find a way past Wolves.

“I was fortunate enough to play in two FA Cup semi-finals and a League Cup semi-final so over the years we have managed to get there or thereabouts as a team and this is a great opportunity for Watford,” Mahon added.

“Wolves are a good side though so it will be an entertaining game.

“Sometimes you can have poor form in the league so you want to have a cup run to get some momentum back but Watford are fine in the league and flying in the cup!

“It will be a great occasion and as a footballer growing up you always want to play professionally but also get to a cup final. This is a great opportunity.”

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