The return of the Premier League after November’s edition of the international break will see Liverpool on the road against Watford this Saturday.
The Reds will be hoping to secure maximum points from their trip to Vicarage Road, as they look to maintain their chase of leaders Manchester City.
Liverpool moved top of the Premier League standings after a 2-0 win over bottom-placed Fulham a fortnight ago, albeit temporarily, as Pep Guardiola’s side reclaimed their spot at the helm following a resounding 3-1 victory in the Manchester derby.
Playing against a side sitting at the foot of the table with only one win this season, Liverpool were expected to dictate proceedings from the offset. Dictate they did, however not without controversy, as Mohamed Salah’s goal in the 41st minute came against a background of protests by the visiting team.
Fulham should have been 1-0 up after Aleksandar Mitrovic’s clever header was wrongly adjudged for offside, but the Cottagers instead found themselves trailing the match, as they went behind just 14 seconds later.
Tom Cairney delivered a perfectly weighted cross right on the edge of the area from the left flank, allowing Mitrovic to direct it into the back of the net with a neat header. No sooner had the goal been flagged for offside, than Liverpool orchestrated a move right from the back through Alisson Becker.
The Brazilian shot stopper passed the ball to Trent Alexander-Arnold who had taken flight on the right flank; the 20-year old releasing a first-time pass from his own half to Mohamed Salah in the final third. Salah took full advantage of a disoriented Fulham defense, as he put the Reds in front with a clinical finish.
Jurgen Klopp’s side then went on to add an inevitable second goal eight minutes after the interval through Xherdan Shaqiri. Having seen their corner cleared, Virgil van Dijk gave the ball to Andrew Robertson who hit a booming cross in the area towards Shaqiri. Despite having plenty of time, and certainly plenty of space to control it, the former Bayern Munich forward instead went for the spectacular, striking it first time to set up a comfortable two-goal cushion.
With no probable way back into the match, Slavisa Jokanovic was left bemoaning the referee’s decision to disallow their goal, as it completely turned the course of the encounter on its head. Although his claims were assuredly valid, it didn’t do much by way of consolidating his managerial position, as the 50-year old was afterwards relieved of his duties; immediately replaced by former Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri.
Save for the final outcome of the match, the case wasn’t any more different at St Mary’s, as Charlie Austin was left venting his spleen after the final whistle having had his goal in the second half disallowed.
Manolo Gabbiadini gave the hosts the lead with a crisp left-footed strike in the 20th minute, but Austin’s goal, ruled for offside, could have given his side a healthy two-goal lead. Instead, the Saints were forced to share the spoils, as Jose Holebas found the equalizer deep in the second half; nonetheless via a deflection off defender Cedric Soares.
Thanks to the crucial point, the Hornets climbed to seventh on the table with 20 points-ten points adrift of Liverpool in second.
Javi Gracia’s defensive options this weekend will be boosted by the return of Daryl Janmaat. Ruled out for nearly two months after undergoing a knee surgery at the tail end of September, the Dutch international has returned to training with the first team. It’s however unlikely that the 29-year old will be hauled straight back into the starting eleven.
Klopp on the other hand will be sweating over the fitness of skipper Jordan Henderson, as the midfielder was a notable absentee during England’s decisive 2-1 win over Croatia in Sunday’s UEFA Nations League match, due to a hamstring strain.
Other than that, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains the only long-term absentee after Naby Keita marked his return from injury with a later appearance against Fulham.
Watford vs. Liverpool betting predictions
Three of the last four meetings between these two sides have yielded over five goals, with the Reds often coming out on top.
Much like Manchester City and Chelsea, Liverpool remain unbeaten thus far into the Premier League campaign, and should be able to protect their streak with a convincing win at Vicarage Road.
|Best Bets||Odds||Bet Now|
|HT/FT Liverpool/Liverpool||+115 at William Hill||Place Bet|
|Total match goals over 3.5||+162 at William Hill||Place Bet|
Watford vs. Liverpool recent results
Liverpool 5-0 Watford (March 17, 2018)
Mohamed Salah 4’, 43’, 77’, 85’
Roberto Firmino 49’
Watford 3-3 Liverpool (August 12, 2017)
Stefano Okaka 8’
Abdoulaye Doucoure 32’
Miguel Britos 90+3’
Sadio Mane 29’
Roberto Firmino 55’ (P)
Mohamed Salah 57’
Watford 0-1 Liverpool (May 1, 2017)
Emre Can 45+2’
Liverpool 6-1 Watford (November 6, 2016)
Sadio Mane 27’, 60’
Philippe Coutinho 30’
Emre Can 43’
Roberto Firmino 57’
Georginio Wijnaldum 90+1’
Daryl Janmaat 75’
Liverpool 2-0 Watford (May 8, 2016)
Joe Allen 35’
Roberto Firmino 76’
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