Liverpool Preview vs Watford: League action returns with Reds hoping to avoid Hornet’s sting

Liverpool head to Vicarage Road this weekend to play an arguably overachieving Watford side, hoping to maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign.

Jurgen Klopp’s side went into the international break in high spirits after seeing off Fulham with a 2-0 victory at Anfield.

Jordan Henderson looks to be the Reds’ only doubt going into the game, as he recovers from a tight hamstring problem.

As for Watford, they managed to scrape a 1-1 draw away at Southampton thanks to a late Jose Holebas strike.

The point took Javi Gracia’s men ahead of Manchester United and into an impressive seventh place.

The Hornets could be without boyhood Liverpool fan Will Hughes on Saturday, with the midfielder facing a late fitness test following a calf injury.

Daryl Janmaat returned to training this weekend after missing two months of the season with a knee injury. However, this weekend could prove to too soon for the Dutchman’s return to playing action.

Tom Cleverley (achilles) and Sebastian Prodl (hamstring) both look certain to miss out.

Head-to-head

The two teams have met 30 times in football history, with Liverpool winning 21 of them compared to Watford’s five victories (four draws).

The first meeting came in 1967 when the two were drawn against each other in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. The game finished 0-0, with the Reds going onto win the replay 3-1.

The Hornets last success over the Merseysiders came nearly three years ago when they comfortably eased to a 3-0 win, thanks to a brace from Odion Ighalo and a goal from Nathan Ake.

Liverpool have however won four of the last five encounters, the highlight being a 6-1 thumping back in November 2016 at Anfield.

Prediction:

Following their remarkable start to the season, Watford have now gone two games without a win so you have to wonder if that early season momentum that they built up is now slowly diminishing.

To get it back, they need to get another win as soon as possible and for me I just can’t see it coming here.

Liverpool have the joint-best defensive record in the league having conceded just five goals, so the likes of Roberto Pereyra will have to be on top form if they want to unlock that backline.

Watford have the fifth best defensive record themselves though so it won’t be a simple task for the Reds to find their way through.

I do think though if the likes of Mohamed Salah and Xherdan Shaqiri can replicate their recent form, then Liverpool should come away with all three points.

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Shaqiri; Salah, Firmino, Mane

Watford 0-2 Liverpool

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