Liverpool v Watford Preview - Klopp's Reds out to banish nightmare of Old Trafford
Venue – Anfield, Liverpool
Referee – Anthony Taylor
Date & Time – Saturday, March 17th @ 17:30 GMT
Current Odds – Liverpool 1/6, Draw 6/1, Watford 14/1
Liverpool are five points behind United in the race for second place. They do seem to be in good shape to guarantee top four as long as they can avoid defeat at Stamford Bridge near the end of the season. Liverpool have been playing well for the most part of the season. They need to hit those heights again in the run in and that starts with Watford on Saturday.
Watford’s whole season has been very stop-start and lacking any real consistency. Javi Garcia has tried to shore things up after replacing Marco Silva at the helm and they have had some very impressive victories, most notably the 4-1 defeat of Chelsea at Vicarage Road in early February. Last week, however, saw Watford fall badly at the Emirates and they may be in for more of the same at Anfield on Saturday evening.
Liverpool Team News
Liverpool’s early-season injury concerns have disappeared and nowadays it is only Nathaniel Clyne who is on the list. His situation continues to improve, however, and we should see him at some stage in April at the latest.
Jordan Henderson could return to midfield after being dropped for the visit to Old Trafford. He should come in as a straight swap for James Milner with Henderson then sitting at the base of the midfield and Emre Can given more licence to roam.
Lovren will most likely be replaced by Matip at the back with Robertson keeping his left-back berth while Gomez is expected to start at right-back as Alexander-Arnold is given a rest after he also struggled at United.
Liverpool’s Top 3 Rated Players this season – (WhoScored.com – at least 10 appearances)
- M. Salah ———- 7.66
- R. Firmino ——- 7.47
- E. Can ———— 7.32
Watford Team News
Unfortunately for Watford, they have the lengthiest injury list in the Premier League at the moment. They are missing Kabasele, Kaboul, Cleverley, Deulofeu, Chalobah and Cathcart. All those players are out for this game.
Javi Garcia generally sets his Watford team out in a 4-2-3-1 shape and this should be the case again on Saturday with Troy Deeney leading the line from the front.
Watford currently have no suspensions.
Watford’s Top 3 Rated Players this season – (WhoScored.com – at least 10 appearances)
- A. Doucoure ——– 7.11
- Richarlison ——— 6.97
- C. Kabasele ——— 6.93
Liverpool XI (4-2-3-1) – Karius; Gomez, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson(c), Can, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Watford XI (4-2-3-1) – Karnezis; Janmaat, Prodl, Mariappa, Holebas; Doucoure, Capoue; Kiko, Pereyra, Richarlison; Deeney(c)
When they last met
The reverse fixture was the opening game of the season for both teams. It was an eventful game, finishing in a 3-3 draw which Liverpool really should have won. Last season’s meeting at Anfield finished in an emphatic 6-1 win for the Reds.
Liverpool 3 – 0 Watford
Liverpool will be hurting after defeat at Old Trafford while Watford seem to be just stumbling towards the finish line this season. Salah to score and Liverpool to win, probably 3-0.
** Please note – “xGA” in the Form Stats tables symbolises “expected goals against” **