Behrami: "Elton John? Watford deserve a cup final for the Pozzos this time"

Chris Flanagan sits down with the Hornets midfielder ahead of their big day out at Wembley…

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It's 32 years since Watford last reached an FA Cup final. Even Valon Behrami, one of the most experienced members of the current squad, hadn't been born back then.

Understandably for a man who has only spent four years of his life in England - three with West Ham, now one with the Hornets - the glory days of Elton John and Graham Taylor are not something that is seared into his consciousness.

"No, I didn't know!" the Swiss international says as he speaks to FFT, before asking inquisitively: "What happened, they didn't win?"

They didn't, beaten 2-0 by Everton in 1984. "Ah, maybe a rematch then!" Behrami quickly adds, with a smile.

Indeed, Watford face Crystal Palace in this weekend's second semi-final on Sunday, less than 24 hours after Everton take on Manchester United in the first. Everton versus Watford could be the final again this year - just as easily as Manchester United versus Crystal Palace, a repeat of the 1990 final that once brought Alex Ferguson's first trophy as Old Trafford boss.

One for the Pozzos

If Behrami doesn't know too much about Elton John, he certainly does know about Watford's current owners, the Pozzo family. The 31-year-old played against their Udinese side many times during his time in Italy with Lazio, Fiorentina and Napoli. Gino Pozzo was a key factor in Behrami's decision to move to Vicarage Road last summer.

The owners have spent money on the stadium, on the training ground, on players, so they deserve a little bit of a reward after that

- Valon Behrami

"Reaching an FA Cup final would mean a lot for everyone here at the club," Behrami says. "I've only been here for seven or eight months, so maybe someone else knows better the history of the club, but it's a club that's investing a lot in every area.

"The owner is very ambitious, he's very serious, so this would be a little bonus for the club, a deserved one. They have spent money on the stadium, on the training ground, on players, so they deserve a little bit of a reward after that. I can speak about that because I know our owner a little bit better than the club. I know him and I know how much he deserves this."

Watford's passage to the semi-finals came by virtue of a shock 2-1 win at Arsenal in the quarters, but things will be different against Crystal Palace. Neither side will be underdogs.

Valon Behrami Alexis Sanchez

Behrami helped the Hornets to a memorable quarter-final win over Arsenal

The Hornets faced third tier club Plymouth Argyle in the semi-finals 32 years ago, winning only 1-0. Behrami warns that a match against Crystal Palace could be even more difficult than the trip to the Emirates.

"Sometimes it's easier to prepare for a game like the one against Arsenal than a game against Crystal Palace," he says. "Against Crystal Palace you think you can have more space and you think you can have more time, but it's not going to be easy.

"They have very good players, three or four top players, and it's going to be a very close game like it was in the Premier League against them. We lost 1-0 at home and then won 2-1 away, but they were very close games. It's going to be tough."

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