Daryl Janmaat back in training
Daryl Janmaat pictured back in training after long spell out.
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Watford vs Liverpool prediction: Watford 0-4 Liverpool
Watford welcome Liverpool to Vicarage Road for the first time since November 2018. Due to the way fixtures have been arranged, both matches between these sides in 2019 were at Anfield.
It is a ground Liverpool have a strong record at, winning nine and drawing two of their last thirteen visits. They also come into the match in fantastic form, on a run of eighteen consecutive wins and still unbeaten in the Premier League this season.
A Reds victory in Hertfordshire would see them set a new record for the most consecutive win in English football. It would move them one clear of Manchester City’s record of eighteen set during their Centurions season.
Meanwhile, a victory for the Hornets would end a run of six straight games without a win. Their last victory was the 0-3 win at Bournemouth in mid-January.
Watford vs Liverpool: Who will win?
Watford look incapable of winning a match at present and are on a six-game winless run. They have also traditionally struggled against Liverpool, and are winless in the last eight matches head-to-head. Therefore, Watford start the game as 7/1 underdogs.
The Hornets have drawn two of their last three matches at Vicarage Road. They also had a memorable 3-3 draw on the opening day of the 2017/18 season against Liverpool here. Odds of them snatching a point on Saturday are 15/4.
Liverpool have won seven of their last eight matches against Saturday’s opponents. They have also won six of the last eight visits to Vicarage Road. They come into this match as huge favourites at 4/11 to take home all three points.
Watford vs Liverpool: Who will score?
The Reds’ attacking trident of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino have eighteen goals and eight assists between them in this fixture.
Salah has scored more goals against Watford than any other club in his professional career. He has eight goals in five matches, including a brace in the 2-0 Reds win in December. Unsurprisingly then, Mo Salah is the 4/5 favourite to sink Watford with another goal on Saturday. Or you can back the Egyptian King at 3/1 to be the game’s opening goal-scorer.
Mané looks like he has found his shooting boots once more after his hamstring injury. After scoring the winner off the bench against Norwich, he grabbed the winning goal once again on Monday Night Football against West Ham. Sadio also had the ball in the net later in the game but it was disallowed by VAR due to offside. The Senegalese international has five goals against Watford and is 15/4 to open the scoring at the weekend. Or evens to find the net at any time during the course of the match.
Troy Deeney has faced Liverpool eight times in his career but is yet to find the net. He looks a rejuvenated player since Nigel Pearson joined Watford and has five goals in his last ten league games. Deeney is the favourite among the Watford players to break the deadlock in the game, at 17/2. Or you can back him at 5/2 to end his 668 minute scoring drought against Liverpool with a goal at any time on Saturday.
Watford vs Liverpool: Match preview
These two sides met each other as recently as mid-December in what proved to be one of Liverpool’s toughest matches this season.
On paper, a 2-0 win at Anfield looks pretty routine for the champions-elect. In reality, the match was anything but. Early in the match Sarr fizzed in a cross which if Deeney touched would have certainly put the Hornets 0-1 up. Doucouré also air-shot what looked like a simple finish from the penalty spot. Seconds later, Liverpool raced up the other end of the pitch and Salah curled the ball beautifully into the top corner from the edge of the box with his right foot.
Sarr, Capoue and Deulofeu all missed great chances to get Watford level. In Sarr’s case, he completely missed the ball in a similar vein to Doucouré earlier in the first half. Liverpool held onto their 1-0 lead though until the 89th minute, when a cheeky Salah backheel helped them double it.
Watford vs Liverpool: A look at the home side
Awful finishing dogged Watford at Anfield, where they had air-shots aplenty. It is a recurring theme this season. In fact, out of all players who have scored at least one Premier League goal this season, only Pererya is performing above what expected goals (xG) suggests. Even his case is marginal, with three goals from an xG of 2.6.
The additional problem is the Hornet’s form after their new manager bounce has ended. After an impressive start to life under Pearson, which saw them collect thirteen points from fifteen over the Christmas and New Year’s period, Watford’s form has totally collapsed.
They come into this match on a run of just one point from a possible twelve from their last four matches. Many of their fans believe the 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford was a season-low for the club. While the 8-0 thrashing at City earlier in the season was an embarrassing result, being comprehensively beaten by a side that collected 198 points across the last two seasons wasn’t a disaster.
However, going to Manchester United in their current guise and showing little to no fight is a worrying sign for a side currently battling relegation. If they perform at the same level against Saturday’s visitors, another embarrassing result should be expected.
Watford team news vs Liverpool
Watford are nearing a clean bill of health.
Daryl Janmaat is being reintroduced via U23s matches. He has been missing since the beginning of November with a knee injury.
Kiko Femenia has been out since Watford’s 2-1 victory over Wolves on New Year’s Day. He has missed the last six league matches with a thigh injury but is available for selection once again. Nigel Pearson is likely to be cautious in reintroducing him to the starting XI immediately though.
After a very disappointing performance in the 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford, Pearson is likely to make several changes here. Tom Cleverley, Andre Gray, Nathaniel Chalobah, Adrian Mariappa, Ismaila Sarr and Danny Welbeck are among those in line for a recall to the starting XI.
Predicted Watford team vs Liverpool
Liverpool team news vs Watford
Jordan Henderson, Xherdan Shaqiri, Yasser Larouci and Nathaniel Clyne remain ruled out for the Reds from the squad that faced West Ham on Monday.
James Milner featured from the bench against Atletico Madrid. It was his first Liverpool appearance since picking up a hamstring injury at the beginning of January. However, he was struggling with a muscle problem last week and wasn’t in the squad for the 3-2 win over West Ham. He will be assessed during the week but seems unlikely to be involved on Saturday.
Despite the 3-2 win against West Ham, Klopp could make a few changes to his starting XI. Most notably in midfield, where Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s introduction on Monday changed the game bringing a higher intensity to Liverpool’s play. Expect the England international to replace Naby Keita.
Predicted Liverpool team vs Watford
All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.
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