Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Prediction: Watford vs Manchester City

Verdict: Manchester City win to nil

Best Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to extend on what has been a recent purple patch, Manchester City will make the trip to Vicarage Road and face off against Watford on Saturday evening.

Watford

Starting with the hosts, while Watford might have put in a rugged display earlier in the week, there is no doubt that they would have been frustrated to have not picked up a point on home soil. Watching defending European champions Chelsea snatch a late 2-1 win at Vicarage Road, the Hornets still find themselves firmly looking over their shoulder at the drop zone. With many still tipping them as a leading pick to be hit with an immediate Championship return this season, new boss Claudio Ranieri is desperate for his side to find some stability. Although Saturday’s hosts might have marked their return from November’s international break with that stunning 4-1 romp against Manchester United, the former Leicester manager has seen his side fail to build off of that result. Including an action-packed 4-2 defeat against the Foxes, Watford have lost four of their last five Premier League contests. Welcoming the defending champions to town this weekend, Ranieri’s side could be bracing themselves for a long evening’s work here.

Team News

In what is a real blow for Watford this weekend, attacking talisman Ismaila Sarr will once again be missing.

Likewise, dealing with some what of an injury crisis, the Hornets will also be without both Nicolas N’Koulou and Ben Foster.

Manchester City

As for the visitors, while Manchester City might have made the trip to Villa Park in midweek dealing with some real injury issues, the Sky Blues put in another impressive display. Landing what was a deserved 2-1 win against Aston Villa on Wednesday night, Pep Guardiola’s side are riding a real wave on either side of November’s international break. Laying down a real marker as they booked their spot in the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League with a 2-1 victory against French giants PSG, the former Bayern Munich boss has been filled with praise for his side. With their sights firmly set on retaining their Premier League crown this season, they have now won each of their last five matchups across all formats. Smelling what is a golden chance on their travels this weekend, City will also be boosted by a rampant record against Saturday’s opponents. Remarkably, Guardiola’s men have won each of their last 13 straight meetings against the relegation scrappers.

Team News

After recently contracting COVID-19, Kevin De Bruyne is likely to once again miss out on Saturday evening.

However, along with Aymeric Laporte returning from a suspension, Jack Grealish could also feature in Guardiola’s starting XI after overcoming a knock.

Key Factors to Consider

    • Manchester City have won each of their last 13 straight meetings against Watford, a run that stems all the way back to 2007.
    • The Sky Blues have also won each of their last three meetings against the Hornets by an aggregate score of 16-0.
    • Each of the last eight meetings between Saturday’s opponents have finished with over 2.5 goals.
    • Watford have lost four of their last five Premier League matchups.
    • Manchester City have won each of their last five matchups across all formats, scoring over 1.5 goals in each of those victories.

    Conclusion

    On paper, it is hard to see anything other than a routine victory for the defending Premier League champions on Saturday evening. Picking up a deserved 2-1 win away at Aston Villa earlier in the week, the mood in Manchester City’s camp appears to be at a real high. Winning each of their last five matchups across all formats, Watford should be bracing themselves for a huge task in the capital. Losing four of their last five top-flight contests, they also hold a woeful record against the Sky Blues that stems all the way back to 2007. In fact, with City winning their last three meetings against the Hornets by an aggregate score of 16-0, we’re backing a similar away win here.

    Verdict: Manchester City win to nil

    Best Odds: 10/11

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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