Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Prediction: Liverpool vs Watford

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 13 Dec 2019

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Verdict: Total Watford goals under 0.5

Best odds: 17/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

In a week of several extremely good news for them, Liverpool will welcome Watford to Anfield on Saturday for a game that will open the 17th round of the 2019/20 Premier League roller coaster.

Liverpool

They might have left it late again, but Liverpool have made it into the knockout stages as they seek to defend their Champions League trophy by beating RB Salzburg in Austria on Tuesday. Having seen in the flesh what he can do, the Reds have since reportedly reached an agreement with Salzburg over a January transfer of 24-year-old winger Takumi Minamino, and they followed that up with a fresh five-year deal for manager Jurgen Klopp, which has now been signed.

As for the Premier League, the European champions seem unstoppable at the moment, with 15 wins and a draw from the 16 rounds played so far. The Reds are currently the only undefeated team in the top five European leagues. Naturally, they top the English top flight with an eight-point cushion over second-place Leicester City, and a whopping 14 points more than title defenders Manchester City. There’s no real need to say any more about their form, and saying that they’re clear favorites to win this game would feel like an understatement of the century.

Team News

Klopp is still without Fabinho, which means captain Jordan Henderson is likely to continue as the deep-sitting midfielder. Centre-back Joel Matip is also still out, as is Dejan Lovren, the manager has confirmed. The Croatian had a few minor niggles recently, but now Klopp says this is a muscle issue and they have no time frame on his absence as of yet. It means Joe Gomez is a nailed-on starter alongside Virgil van Dijk at the back.

Liverpool’s front line has recently been rotated to a large degree of success, and with the busy Christmas period coming, it’s very likely that at least one of the usual front three will start on the bench, and one of Divock Origi, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Xherdan Shaqiri will be given a start.

Watford

There are no two teams in the same league with fortunes this term more contrasting than those of Watford compared to Liverpool. They are firmly set on the bottom of the table, with just one win, six draws, and no less than nine defeats, which means they only have nine points to their name. They are the main favourites for relegation at this point, there can be no doubt to that, and the time when they were a solid if unspectacular Premier League team seems like a thousand years ago.

The Hornets started the season with Javi Gracia at the helm, but less than a month into the campaign, they parted ways with him in favour of Quique Sanchez Flores, whom they sacked earlier this month and hired Nigel Pearson instead. It remains to be seen what Pearson can do to turn things around, but the visit to Anfield is probably not the best moment to make a judgement on that.

Team News

Pearson won’t be able to count on Jose Holebas who is injured, while the fitness of fellow defender Adam Masina and midfielder Roberto Pereyra will be assessed before a decision on their involvement is made. Defender Craig Dawson is, however, ready to play having recovered from a head injury.

Conclusion

The Premier League is often know to spout out some surprising results, probably more so than other leagues across Europe, but not even the most die-hard Watford supporter could carry much hope of a positive result at Anfield at the moment. Liverpool are very determined to put an end to the three-decade wait for a league title, and it’ll be all about the business at hand in this game.

The only question is how many they’ll end up scoring, or if they’ll be able to keep a third consecutive clean sheet in all competitions. They probably will.

Verdict: Total Watford goals under 0.5

Best odds: 17/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on four different football blogs.

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