MATCH CENTRE

Preview: Watford vs Liverpool

 

With the final international break out of the way, Liverpool can focus on the league for the remainder of the year. They’ll travel to Vicarage Road, aiming to further extend their unbeaten start in the league. 7th placed Watford will be hoping that the home support will count for something, and halt the Merseysiders storming start to the season. Ahead of Saturday’s game, here’s the preview of both sides.

Preserving The Good Form

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Netting a stoppage time winner for Egypt, Salah’s returned to Merseyside in high spirits. And with five goals and an assist against Watford, he’ll be heading into Saturday’s game with a spring in his steps. To put that into perspective, only Luis Suarez can boast a better goal involvement-per-match ratio with 3.5 against Cardiff City. With that record on his back, Salah should fancy his chances of bettering it this weekend.

Likewise, it represents an opportunity for Firmino to improve his goal tally for the campaign. The forward has yielded only 2 league goals so far, even if he remains one of Liverpool’s hardest working players. That form may see his place eventually come under threat, with Daniel Sturridge ready to step in at any moment. Luckily for the Brazilian, he has a good record against the Hornets, scoring four and assisting a further three in his five appearances against them. Adding to that tally will go a long way to ease that pressure and silence the naysayers.

Always A Lively Affair

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If one thing is guaranteed in games against Watford, it is surely goals. After all, there has never been a goalless draw in the 22 top-flight meeting between both sides. Both sides also have similar goal scored per match ratios, with Liverpool’s 1.92 slightly edging out Watford’s 1.42. And finally, Watford’s last 5 home games has seen an average of 2.5 goals being scored.

Of course, it doesn’t mean that Liverpool will concede many goals against Watford, with the Reds having one of the stingiest defence in the league. With Virgil van Djik and Joe Gomez marshalling the defence, the Reds can be confident that they are the ones doing the scoring. Regardless, it promises to be an entertaining affair for the neutrals as goals are certain to come.

One Eye On Paris

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While the immediate focus will be on Saturday’s game, fans will naturally look ahead to Wednesday’s fixture against PSG. That’s because Liverpool have yet to seal their progress to the knockout stages, making such European games ever the more important.

Klopp obviously would be keeping that in mind when he makes his team selection on Saturday, as he would very like to have a fit and fresh squad for Paris. For that reason alone, it would be safe to assume that Jordan Henderson will be on the bench despite him training with the team at Melwood. The England international missed the game against Croatia due to a tight hamstring. So while he’s available to face Watford, Klopp would very like to ease his captain back to full fitness.

All that being said, it’s very important for Liverpool to train their focus on the Hornets. After all, they’ve been stung by them before, drawing 3-3 in last season’s opener. And with only a goal to show for in each of their last three away games, the Reds have to be tight at the back. Shutting out their opponents will greatly boost Liverpool’s chances of getting all three points. So let us get the job done at Vicarage Road first. That way, it’ll put us in a better frame of mind to conquer Paris come Wednesday night.

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