FA Cup’s lost none of its glamour for Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko

Oleksandr Zinchenko would savour FA Cup final success as much as Manchester City’s Premier League title win.

The Ukrainian is poised to play in Saturday’s Wembley showpiece against Watford, when City will bid to complete an unprecedented domestic treble.

Some may feel the FA Cup has lost some of its glamour in recent times, but, for Zinchenko, it still ranks very highly.

Oleksandr Zinchenko has established himself as Pep Guardiola's first-choice left-back
Oleksandr Zinchenko has established himself as Pep Guardiola’s first-choice left-back (Nick Potts/PA).

The 22-year-old, who has emerged as City’s first-choice left-back despite it not being his preferred position, said: “It’s an unbelievable feeling to be honest, to play at that stadium in the final and to go to fight for a title. A final is always special and we can’t wait for that.

“For me when I was younger the cup was just as important as the Premier League. I don’t know how other players think about it, but for me it’s like this.

“I would dream of playing at a high level. I didn’t realise that I would be here and getting ready for an FA Cup final. It’s a dream.”

Despite chasing the Premier League and Champions League, Pep Guardiola’s City have also taken the domestic cups seriously this season and were in contention for a quadruple until last month.

Manchester City started their FA Cup campaign by thrashing Rotherham
Manchester City started their FA Cup campaign by thrashing Rotherham (Martin Rickett/PA).

They began their FA Cup campaign with a ruthless 7-0 demolition of Rotherham in January.

Zinchenko said: “I think the Rotherham game was about scoring that first goal and then we built this rhythm and managed to score more goals. I think the whole team have put in good performances ever since then.

“In every single game we played this season, especially in the cup, we have showed who we are as a team and we have done it well.”

City have beaten Watford in all eight of their meetings since the Hornets returned to the top flight in 2015, including a 5-0 and a 6-0 win at Vicarage Road.

Yet that will all count for nothing as Javi Gracia’s men look to deny City in their shot at history.

Zinchenko said: “Watford have very good players, especially up top. Their manager and the way they play – I like it.

“It’s going to be tough against them, I’m sure of that, but I think every single game our target is to show everyone who we are.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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