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Watford vs Liverpool : Preview, Live stream and TV channel info, Team News, Prediction, Betting odds

SENIOR ANALYST
Preview
1.19K   //    20 Dec 2015, 15:21 IST
Klopp Liverpool Melwood
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool train ahead of their game at Watford

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool travel to Watford in Round 17 of the Premier League.The home side are 7th in the Premier League standings, while their opponents are just two places below them. Liverpool resuced a late draw against West Bromwich Albion at Anfield in their last game, while Watford won 1-0 away to Sunderland.

The Hornets have won their last three games in all competitions, while Liverpool are struggling a bit without a win in their last three games. Needless to say, Jurgen Klopp’s team face a difficult away trip to Watford, who are in fine form and might surprise a few on Sunday. A win for Liverpool might take them to 7th, just two points away from the top 4.

Kickoff and Live Telecast

Channel: Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD4

Live Streamstarsports.com

Date and Time: Sunday, 20 December 2015 – 19:00 IST (13:30 BST)

Venue: Vicarage Road

Team News

Watford have no new injury concerns, while the likes of Valon Behrami and Sebastian Prodl might make their returns from injury. Tommie Hoban and Joel Ekstrand remain long term injury concerns. Odion Ighalo is in brilliant form and is expected to lead the Hornets attack, with Troy Deeney just behind him. Capoue and Watson are likely to start in the middle of the park, while the back four is expected to remain the same that started against Sunderland.

Liverpool will miss the services of Daniel Sturridge, who is yet to return to fitness after picking up a hamstring injury. Jurgen Klopp also ruled out James Milner, while Dejan Lovren is still recovering from the injury he picked up against West Bromwich Albion. Simon Mignolet is also nursing a hamstring injury and it remains to be seen if he can recover in time for the Watford trip.  Joe Gomez and Danny Ings are long-term injury concerns and won’t feature in the matchday squad, while Jon Flanagan is expected to return to full training next week.

Christian Benteke’s poor form means Roberto Firmino might start up front, with Lallana and Coutinho alongside him. Jordan Henderson, Lucas Leiva, and Emre Can are expected to start in the midfield. Mamadou Sakho has fully recovered from his injury and will take Lovren’s place in the starting XI alongside Martin Skrtel. Adam Bogdan is likely to start in goal if Simon Mignolet fails to recover in time.

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Probable Lineups

Watford(4-2-3-1): Gomes, Nyom, Cathcart, Britos, Ake, Capoue, Watson, Anya, Deeney, Abdi, Ighalo

Liverpool (4-2-3-1): Bogdan, Clyne, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno, Lucas, Can, Henderson, Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino

football formations

Form

Watford have momentum going into the game, with them having won their last three games, after losing two on the trot.  The Hornets lost 2-1 against Leicester City and Manchester United, but have played brilliantly in their last three games to take away maximum points. They won 3-2 away to Aston Villa, with Ighalo and Deeney finding the back of the net.  The duo were on the scoresheet again against Norwich City where they won 2-0 at home. An early goal from Ighalo sealed a 1-0 victory against Sunderland in their last game. 

Last 5 matches: L-L-W-W-W (Last Match: Sunderland 1-0 Watford)

Liverpool have seemed to lost their way a bit after wins against Swansea and Southampton. The Reds haven’t won in their last three games, with an away defeat to Newcastle United and draws against Sion and West Bromwich Albion. The Reds have struggled without their star striker Daniel Sturridge, with Christian Benteke doing very little up front. Though confidence is running high in the Liverpool team and Jurgen Klopp’s team have performed better than results suggest. 

Last 5 matches: W-W-L-D-D (Last Match: Liverpool 2-2 West Bromwich Albion)

Key Stats

Watford are yet to win consecutive home games in the Premier League.

The Reds have won eight and lost just one in their nine fixtures against the Hornets in all competitions.

Watford would be top of the league with 27 points if league matches ended at half-time.

No combination in the Premier League have created more goalscoring chances than Ighalo and Deeney(29).

Liverpool have scored 1.4 goals per game when Philippe Coutinho has played, compared to 0.7 per game in the games he has missed.

Only 10 newly promoted teams before had won won 25-plus points in their opening 16 games of a Premier League season. None of them were relegated.

Key Battles

Philippe Coutinho vs Etienne Capoue

There is little doubt Coutinho is one of the best playmakers in the Premier League and when he gets going there is very little opponents can do to stop him. Coutinho marked his return from injury against West Bromwich Albion, and is expected to start against Watford. The Brazilian star has already scored five goals in the league this season, and his partnership with Roberto Firmino is likely to trouble the Watford defense. 

Coutinho is also not shy when it comes to taking his chances from long distance and Capoue must stay alert not to give him any room outside the penalty box. He is also good at dribbling past defenders and create goal scoring chances for his teammates.

Odion Ighalo vs Martin Skrtel

Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo has surprised many this season with his goal scoring form. The 26-year-old has scored 10 goals this season and has been the focal point of Watford’s attack this season. He has formed a commendable partnership with Deeney and they can cause a few troubles for the Liverpool defense..

Martin Skrtel has always been inconsistent and Ighalo will be hoping to get the better of him on Sunday. Skrtel will need to be at his best to stop the in form Watford striker from scoing again.

Prediction

Liverpool had no mid-week Europa League distractions and had enough rest before the Watford game. The Reds have also done well away from home and are favourites to get all the three points at Vicarage Road.

Watford 0-3 Liverpool

Betting Odds (bet365)

Watford – 3/1

Draw – 13/5

Liverpool – 1/1


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