Watford v Man City
Tuesday 21st July 2020
Vicarage Road Stadium
Watford surprised many on Sunday when they relieved Nigel Pearson of his duties. From the outside looking in it looks like Pearson has done a terrific job given that Watford were in a perilous position in the Premier League when he took over from Quique Sanchez Flores in early December last year. The Hornets are currently 3 points above the drop zone with 2 games to play. One thing the Watford owners have never been afraid to do is replace Managers as and when the see fit. Hayden Mullins has been placed in interim charge once again after a brief spell in charge before Pearson was appointed.
Watford were well beaten at West Ham in their last outing and who knows if that result cost Pearson his job but they had won the two games previous to that against Norwich (2-1) and Newcastle (2-1) which had given them a buffer to the relegation places. Mullins will again be missing both Daryl Janmaat and Gerard Deulofeu as they recover from long term injuries and Etienne Capoue will miss out again but Troy Deeney managed an hour against West Ham but he continues to struggle with his knee injury but will play on Wednesday and manage the injury until the end of the season. Will Hughes suffered a dead leg against The Hammers but Mullins expects the former Derby County Midfielder to be available to face City. Roberto Pereyra is back fit and available for selection.
Watford will know that one more win will just about secure safety given they have a better goal difference than Aston Villa currently by 4 goals. That would require Villa to win both remaining games against Arsenal and West Ham and overturn the goal difference. Despite being just above the relegation zone Watford have a decent record at Vicarage Road this season. They have won 6 and drawn 6 of the 18 games thus far including a 3-0 win over Liverpool. They are a best price 8/1 with Betfred to take the scalp of the former Premier League Champions. Watford’s record signing is Ismaila Sarr and the Senegalese International is starting to really find his feet in the premier league. He gave Liverpool a torrid time in the 3-0 win and was the only real bright spark against West Ham. With 5 goals from 26 games this season we will take a chance on Sarr to score anytime at 4/1 with Betfred.
Man City were unusually poor on Saturday in the FA Cup Semi Final against Arsenal at Wembley, they once again showed the defensive frailties that have hindered them throughout this season but more worryingly for Pep Guardiola was the lack of a real cutting edge. Kevin De Bruyne had a quiet afternoon and when he does not hit peak form they just don’t look the same side. With a vital Champions League second leg tie against an in-form Real Madrid just 3 weeks away Guardiola will expect his team to respond and get back to the free flowing football they have become known for.
The defeat and performance against Arsenal was all the more surprising given that City had been free scoring in there previous games winning 4 of the previous 5 against Liverpool (4-0) Newcastle (5-0) Brighton (5-0) and Bournemouth (2-1) . Guardiola has no new injury worries for the trip to Vicarage Road, he remains without Claudio Bravo and Sergio Aguero but he is likely to make changes following the defeat at Wembley with Fernandinho, Alex Zinchenko and Phil Foden all possible starters having started the weekend on the bench.
City have the 2nd best away record behind Liverpool having won 10 games from 18 away from The Etihad and will relish facing a Watford side they have beaten in the last 12 fixtures including the last 2 wins with an aggregate of 14-0 (8-0 and 6-0). They have won the last 4 at Vicarage Road conceding just twice and they look like an absolute banker at best odds of 7/20 with Unibet. Raheem Sterling was kept quiet by the Arsenal defenders on Saturday but the England man has had a productive season with 22 goals already and he is 6/5 to score anytime on tuesday evening with Betfred
Last 6 – H2H
|16 Sep 2017||Watford v Manchester City||0-6||Premier League|
|02 Jan 2018||Manchester City v Watford||3-1||Premier League|
|04 Dec 2018||Watford v Manchester City||1-2||Premier League|
|09 Mar 2019||Manchester City v Watford||3-1||Premier League|
|18 May 2019||Manchester City v Watford||6-0||FA Cup|
|21 Sep 2019||Manchester City v Watford||8-0||Premier League|