Preview and Prediction
The battle for survival is not over yet for The Hornets. However, their last two opponents happen to be the high-profile ones. This midweek they will be hosting the reigning Champions Manchester City before travelling to Emirates stadium on the weekend. A maximum point is absolutely important in these upcoming fixtures. Otherwise, Aston Villa or Bournemouth might take over their position on the table.
The teams’ previous matches
Watford were unable to pick up any points in the crucial game against West Ham last Friday. They were beaten 1-3 by the goals of Michael Antonio, Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice long curling shot. Nigel Pearson’s men could only score a consolation goal through Troy Deeney’s strike. That result certainly held them back from avoiding the red zone.
Meanwhile, The Citizens had a stunning defeat in FA Cup semi final while facing off Arsenal. Guardiola’s men lost 0-2 in Wembley. Pierre Aubameyang was their nightmare on the weekend as he netted a brace. Such definitely prevented them defending their title next month.
The relieving of Nigel Pearson in the middle of their fight to permanence could be a blunder for Watford. The caretaker Hayden Mullins might have no sufficient experience in dealing with the decisive games such as now. Yet, it does not mean that Troy Deeney and Co have no chance at all. Mullins might need to employ the ultra defensive formation such as 5-3-2 or 5-4-1 to reduce the exposure of their defensive frailties. Sebastian Prodl, Christian Kasebele and Craig Dawson will be the centre back while Kiko Femenia and Jose Holebas will fit for wing back position. In the midfield, due to the injury of Etienne Capoue, Gerard Deulofeu, Daryl Janmaat and Isaac Success, playing Will Hughes, Abdoulaye Doucore, Roberto Peyrera and Ismaila Sarr is the best option to support Troy Deeney upfront.
Pep Guardiola, on the other hand, will never let his team lose again for the sake of maintaining their positive mentality before the Champions League next month. Thus, he is likely still be opting for 4-3-3 formation with Gaby Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden upfront. Unfortunately, Sergio Aguero is on the sideline.
Players to watch
Watford’s top performers are their captain, Troy Deeney, who has contributed nine goals and two assists and Craig Dawson. Another notable one is the Senegalese Ismalia Sarr. He has bagged five goals and provided three assists.
The Citizens’ key figures for this upcoming match are possibly Bernardo Silva with his six goals and seven assists and their English youngster Phil Foden, who has scored four goals and made two assists in EPL this season.
Watford vs Manchester City Prediction
It is still difficult to expect the home side to secure three or even one point here under the caretaker. The key might lie on their captain who could motivate the team for satefy. Yet, Manchester City has all the potential to seal maximum points here. Thus, the visitor will come out as a winner eventually.
Guardiola’s men are surely clear favourite. They are priced to win at 1.36, whereas the odds for a draw at 5.75. Meanwhile, Watford’s win market is only at 8.60.