Manchester City (23-2-4) vs. Watford (12-7-10)
Premier League: 03-09-2019 at 17:30 UST (Etihad Stadium)
Odds: Manchester City: 1.16, Draw: 9.00, Watford: 19.00
Premier League picks Watford vs Manchester City
Manchester City welcomes Watford at the Etihad Stadium in Saturday’s late kick-off. The Sky Blues have regained the top position of the league last weekend after their 0-1 win at Bournemouth.That is not a surprise, as the Citizens seem unbeatable these days, despite being unlucky in front of goals. Indeed, they won their last two games 1-0 but their combined ‘expected goals‘ (xG) for these games was at 5.3. Moreover, City have won their last five Premier league matches and eight matches in all competitions and should dominate Watford. The Hornets are also fairly in form. Indeed, they collected ten points out of fifteen possible on their last five Prem’ games. More importantly, they successfully bounced back from their Liverpool blowout loss (5-0) by snatching a late win over Leicester. Nevertheless, Watford comes into this game as the underdogs, especially considering their 2-1 loss in the first head-to-head between the two teams.
A reason to hope for Watford fans is the full availability of Javi Gracia’s squad. Indeed, Femenia and Prodl are back into the team after their injuries. The right-back and centre-back, respectively, could bring a needed defensive solidity into this match. Additionally, the three Hornets’ main forwards have been on very good form lately. Troy Deeney has scored three goals in his last three games, just like Gerard Deulofeu. Indeed, both men combined for Watford’s five goals against Cardiff City and should start at the front of Gracia’s 4-4-2. Moreover, Andre Gray, Watford‘s hero against Leicester last week has shown his qualities lately. He could come in as an energiser in the second half if Watford are still in the game then. All in all, Watford should line up in a similar manner as against Leicester. From right to left, Janmaat, Mariappa, Cathcart and Holebas should compose the defensive line. In front of them, Capoue and Doucouré should form the heart of the midfield. Indeed, the French pair has been very solid this season and their athletic abilities have been integral to Watford’s system. Finally, Hughes and Pereyra should bring width and pace to the Hornets’ wings.
Pep Guardiola’s team will probably line up in their usual 4-3-3. John Stones was forced off last week at Bournemouth and could be unavailable for the match. However, the Spanish tactician could rely on Aymeric Laporte who is back in full training. Nevertheless, Pep might not want to risk any of these two in preparation of Tuesday’s Champions League match. The Citizens‘ back line might be composed of Walker, Kompany, Otamendi and Zinchenko. Fernandinho and De Bruyne are also both unavailable due to injuries. Nonetheless, the Sky Blues have a plethora of talent to choose from in the midfield. They will most likely start Gundogan as the lower point of a midfield three, with “the undroppable Bernardo Silva” and David Silva higher up, controlling the tempo on offence. Bernardo Silva starting in the midfield should free a spot for Sané in the attack. Raheem Sterling will therefore probably slide to the right of the attack. Finally, the February Player of the Month Kun Agüero should complete the line-up. The Argentinian will undoubtedly hope to add to his impressive tally of 18 goals.
Premier League schedule Watford vs. Manchester City
Manchester City is the clear favourite in this match and should dominate Watford. The Citizens will hope to contribute another defeat to the Hornets’ horrible record of 7 losses and 1 win against the Big Six so far. The best attack of the league – 76 goals in 29 matches – could effortlessly win with at least a three goal difference.
PICK: Manchester City 3-0 Watford