Kick-off: 1500, 21/09/2019
Stadium: Etihad Stadium
There is no shame in admitting we failed to predict Manchester City suffering their first defeat of the season at newly-promoted and injury-hit Norwich last weekend!
We did suggest the Canaries could cause the champions problems though and we had a 13/5 winner with our tip for both teams to score in the first half.
Watford could be forgiven for fearing a backlash on Saturday and it would not be a surprise to see City race out of the blocks so Pep Guardiola’s men to be leading after 15 minutes at 17/10 is our opening Man City vs Watford prediction.
A Look At Manchester City’s Betting Odds
Manchester City start the weekend five points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool and given the consistency both teams have shown, they cannot afford too many more slip-ups.
Hopefully for the neutrals there are many more twists and turns to come in the title race and Guardiola believes it would be premature to consider the result at Carrow Road as pivotal in the chase for a third consecutive league title.
“Five points is five points, but we are in September,” he said. “What are we supposed to do? Say ‘it’s September and congratulations to Liverpool, you are champions?’ Not for one second am I going to doubt my players.”
City enjoyed a nice 3-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League but will also want to produce a Premier League response and can take heart from their 6-0 victory over Watford in the FA Cup final in May.
Injury problems in defence are growing but Guardiola is spoilt for choice in attack, so goals should be on the cards and the hosts to score at least three goals in the second half appeals in the Man City vs Watford odds at 11/5.
Last Man City EPL line-up: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Zinchenko, Otamendi, Gundogan, Rodri, B Silva, D Silva, Sterling, Aguero.
Fernandinho is set to continue in central defence for City. The midfielder moved into the back four against Shakhtar in midweek
after John Stones (thigh) joined Aymeric Laporte (knee) on the sidelines.
Midfielder Phil Foden should be available again after a stomach virus. Winger Leroy Sane (knee) is still out.
A Look At Watford’s Betting Odds
Watford have changed their manager since their Wembley thrashing and will hope Quique Sanchez Flores has better luck at finding a way to trouble City.
Norwich showed how it can be done last weekend and Watford pressed Arsenal into mistakes at the back as they battled from2-0 down to rescue a 2-2 draw at Vicarage Road.
The Hornets had 31 shots on goal and attack looks the best form of defence against a back four which is missing Aymeric Laporte and John Stones, having also failed to replace Vincent Kompany in the summer.
It was an encouraging second-half performance from Watford and asked about the impact Flores has made since returning to the club, midfielder Tom Cleverley said: “He’s not bombarded us with information.
“He’s just got his ideas across, very black and white about the basics of how he wants to set up and play. It has been a good, positive week.”
Watford have had all week to plan for this game while City have been in Champions League action and while we expect City’s quality to shine through, there should be plenty of goals.
Both teams to score can be backed at 21/20 but there have been at least four goals in each of City’s five Premier League fixtures and five in two of them so we’ll add over 4.5 goals to our Man City vs Watford betting tips at 29/20.
Last Watford line-up: Foster, Dawson, Kiko, Holebas, Kabasele, Cleverley, Doucoure, Hughes, Capoue, Deulofeu, Gray.
Watford forward Isaac Success is set for at least a month out with a groin problem. Defender Craig Cathcart should return to training next week following a thigh injury, while club captain Troy Deeney continues his recovery after undergoing knee surgery during August.
Shakhtar 0-3 MAN CITY – Riyad Mahrez, Ilkay Gundogan, Gabriel Jesus
WATFORD 2-2 Arsenal – Tom Cleverley, Roberto Pereyra (pen)
Head-to-head: Man City 6-0 Watford, Man City 3-1 Watford, Watford 1-2 Man City, Man City 3-1 Watford, Watford 0-6 Man City, Watford 0-5 Man City, Man City 2-0 Watford
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