Liverpool vs Watford: Team news, match facts and prediction

0

Liverpool host Watford at Anfield this afternoon in what could be a routine win for the league leaders.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds lead Leicester City in the title race by eight points after 16 games, and it looks like it will take something special – or disastrous, in Liverpool’s case – to see them denied a first League title since 1989.

As for Watford, the Hornets are already on their third manager of the season with Nigel Pearson in charge following the sackings of both Javi Gracia and Quique Sanchez Flores.

Watford are six points adrift at the foot of the table, and having scored just nine league goals this season – the least in the top flight by a long way – it could be a long afternoon on Merseyside.

Put simply, the Hornets have been terrible in attack and only slightly less awful in defense this term.

In reality, Klopp will likely be able to rest a few key players and still achieve a comfortable win – but if this season has shown anything, it is to not write off a team, no matter what their current predicament is.

Liverpool celebrations
Liverpool celebrations

 

Team News

Dejan Lovren is unavailable for Liverpool, having sustained a muscle problem against Red Bull Salzburg on Tuesday night.

Joel Matip is out for the rest of 2019 with a knee injury, while Fabinho and Nathaniel Clyne are also still missing.

Defender Craig Dawson returns after a head injury for Watford’s first game under Nigel Pearson.

Match facts

Head-to-head

Liverpool are unbeaten in seven league games against Watford, outscoring the Hornets 25-4 (W6, D1).

The Reds could become the first side in top-flight history to beat the same team at home by a five-goal margin in four straight seasons – they’ve twice won 5-0 and also recorded a 6-1 win over the past three campaigns.

Watford have lost a club record 18 top-flight matches to Liverpool.

The Hornets’ sole win in 12 top-flight games at Anfield was by 1-0 in 1999. It was their first Premier League match away to Liverpool.

Jürgen Klopp agrees new Liverpool FC contract to 2024

Liverpool

Liverpool are on a club-record top-flight unbeaten run of 33 consecutive matches (W28, D5).

The Reds have won 24 of their past 25 league games, drawing the other.

They have scored two or more goals in 23 of those 25 fixtures.

Liverpool boast the only 100% winning home record in the top four English divisions.

The Reds are without a clean sheet in all 12 league and cup matches at Anfield this term, letting in 19 goals.

They are guaranteed to be top of the table at Christmas – the last three occasions a team failed to win the title having been top at Christmas were all Liverpool (2008-09, 2013-14 and 2018-19).

Mohamed Salah has scored six goals in four league games against Watford.

Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have each scored five goals and provided three assists in their five and six appearances respectively against the Hornets.

Watford

Watford have won just one of their last 20 league games dating back to last season (D7, L12).

Their sole victory this term came against second-to-bottom Norwich.

All five of their last permanent managers drew their opening Premier League match – including both Quique Sanchez Flores spells.

They have scored just nine league goals and are the only side in the top four English divisions yet to reach double figures.

Watford have kept only two clean sheets in 18 away league fixtures in 2019.

The Hornets have lost their last 12 top-flight matches against teams starting the day top of the league.