Claudio Ranieri and his Leicester City side have been the talking point of the season so far. But, Watford also fared well and they start ahead of Liverpool in this clash.
Surprisingly, the impressive journey of a newly promoted Watford side has been hugely unnoticed by the media and the pundits. Their newly appointed manager Quique Sánchez Flores has done a splendid job in the summer transfer window. Watford have bought in the most number of players(15) among the premier league sides and most of them have impressed so far.
But above all, Odion Ighalo and captain Troy Deeney have continued their last season’s goal scoring form so far. They are currently at 7th place in the premier league table with 25 points and have won three back to back matches since their 1-2 home defeat against Manchester United. They are playing some exciting football this year and will try to continue their good run of form going for all three points at Vicarage Road against Liverpool this Sunday.
Liverpool, on the other hand, improved their performance under new manager Jurgen Klopp. They defeated Chelsea and Manchester City away from home. But recently they faced a surprise defeat against relegation threatened Newcastle United at St James Park. Last weekend, they failed to hold their lead against West Brom and managed a hard fought draw after Divock Origi equalized in the injury time at Anfield.
So Liverpool, who are currently at ninth place in the league with 24 points, have to improve their recent performances to win over a resilient Watford side. The Reds must increase their conversion rate and new signings like Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino must step up from now on. So, Watford vs Liverpool would be one interesting fixture to watch.
Watford vs Liverpool Injury News:
Watford manager Flores is hopeful that Sebastian Prodl and Valon Behrami will recover in time from calf injury and will be available for selection. Joel Ekstrand and Tommie Hoban are still recovering and will not feature against Liverpool. Rene Gilmartin has suffered a knee injury and sidelined for a longer period.
Liverpool will miss the services of in form Dejan Lovren as he suffered a knee injury against West Brom and is now sidelined for a few weeks. Klopp is hopeful about Mamadou Sakho’s availability though, who is training for almost a week now after suffering a Medial Knee Ligament injury against Crystal Palace. Daniel Sturridge, who suffered a hamstring injury against Newcastle United, has not trained yet and won’t be available for selection.
Youngster Jordan Rossiter is sidelined due to a hamstring injury. After missing one and a half season due to knee injury, Jon Flanagan is back in training; he will be available within a couple of weeks and is currently working on his match fitness. Danny Ings and Joe Gomez will miss the entire season due to ACL injury. Liverpool will miss James Milner too because of the injury.
Key Players: Odion Ighalo has been the star performer of Watford this season having scored 10 goals in 16 matches already. Captain Troy Deeney has adopted the number 10 role very well and creating a lot of problems for the defenders with his physicality. These two have formed a lethal combination upfront for the newly promoted side.
Philippe Coutinho and captain Jordan Henderson, both have returned to full fitness. They are the key men in Liverpool midfield who can create chances and score goals for the Reds.
Watford Probable Line Up : Watford will operate in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Odion Ighalo upfront and Troy Deeney behind him.
Subs: Arlauskis, Diamanti, Guedioura, Anya, Prodl, Behrami, Oulare.
Liverpool Probable Line Up: Christian Benteke has been a little inconsistent lately and Roberto Firmino as false 9 has gone in favor of Liverpool in a few crucial away matches. Still, considering the physicality, experience and reputation of Benteke in premier league, Klopp might give him a start over Firmino. Lucas Leiva might return in place of James Milner in midfield. In that case a 4-3-3 formation seems imminent. Milner’s injury might be a turning point in the game as Liverpool will miss his work rate against a high paced side.
Subs: Bogdan, Allen, Origi, Kolo Toure, Firmino, Ibe, Smith
Watford have never won back to back home games in their Premier League History. April, 1987 was the last time when they won four successive matches in top flight football.
- If Premier League games ended at half-time, Watford would be top of the league with 27 points this season.
- They have kept 7 clean sheets so far, only Manchester United have a better record (with 9 clean sheets).
- Hornets have won more matches (7) than both Manchester clubs (6) since September.
- Odion Ighalo is the first Watford player who scored 10 goals in a single premier league season. He has scored 26 goals in this calendar year.
- The Reds have kept two clean sheets in their last 13 Premier League games, though they begun the campaign with three successive ones against Stoke City, Bournemouth and Arsenal.
- They have taken 12 points in eight league games under Jurgen Klopp, matching their tally in their opening eight matches under Brendan Rodgers.
- Liverpool have scored just two goals in the three Premier League games which Philippe Coutinho has missed this season (0.7 per game) compared to an average of 1.4 goals per match when he has featured.
- Liverpool have won eight and lost one of their last nine meetings with Watford in all competitions, including their last four trips to Vicarage Road.
Last Meeting: Liverpool won by a 3-0 margin over Watford in 2006-07 season when they met at Vicarage Road in the premiership.
Watford vs Liverpool Betting Odds: