£100 in bet credits for Royal Ascot - MUST HAVE BOOKMAKER!

New Customers only. Up to £100 in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5 or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.
CLAIM!
Watford vs Liverpool: 3 key battles to keep an eye on at Vicarage Road

Watford vs Liverpool: 3 key battles to keep an eye on at Vicarage Road

As attentions return to the Premier League this weekend, Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool side will know they must keep the pressure on Manchester City ahead of a hectic Christmas Period.

Yet to be beaten in their opening 12 games, the Reds sit two points adrift of the defending champions in the race for the title.

On Saturday, Liverpool will face a stern test against a Watford side who have dipped slightly after getting out of the traps at a lightning pace.

While five places and 10 points may separate the two in the table, Javi Garcia’s side find themselves above Manchester United and will have their sights set on a surprise European push this year.

 

Ahead of Liverpool’s trip to the capital, what are the three key battles to look out for at Vicarage Road:

 

Troy Deeney vs Virgil van Dijk

Although Garcia has helped Watford play a more attractive style, Saturday’s hosts still have a reputation for their physicality.

One man who epitomizes that is captain Troy Deeney.

Now fully recovered from a hamstring injury that saw him sidelined for almost a month, the 30-year-old is likely to be recalled to Watford’s starting XI on Saturday.

With Garcia opting to play a 4-4-2 for large spells of this season, Watford are not afraid to go long and only three Premier League sides have played more long balls.

Despite missing three games, Deeney unsurprisingly sits in the top 10 for aerial duels won and a potential relationship with Gerard Deulofeu could be Watford’s best opportunity to catch Liverpool out.

The Hornets skipper has previously expressed his displeasure when coming up against the Dutch defender.

As for the world’s most expensive defender, while Virgin van Dijk’s £75million move from Southampton may have raised plenty of eyebrows back in January, his arrival on Merseyside has been a huge part of Liverpool’s transformation.

Often taking possession of Liverpool’s armband this year, the 27-year-old will play a crucial role in a potential title push.

With a tackle success rate of an astonishing 95%, Van Dijk has also won 44 ariel duels, more than double Joe Gomez’s tally.

A battle of two heavyweights, expect the duo to closely be watching one another from set pieces.

 

Etienne Capoue vs Roberto Firmino

While on paper it appears that Roberto Firmino is used as Liverpool’s leading striker, the Brazilian has found himself in a far deeper role this season.

With Klopp opting to swap to a 4-2-3-1 in their 2-0 win over Fulham prior to the international break, the 27-year-old found himself almost playing in a number 10 role.

Although Firmino has failed to find the net in his last seven Premier League appearances, there is no doubt that he remains a firm favourite of Klopp’s and is a vital part of Liverpool’s attacking trio.

When he does eventually drop back and find himself between the lines, it is important that Garcia finds a way to stifle the service into the 28-cap Brazil international.

No attacking player has had more touches for Liverpool so far this year and they can not allow him to link up with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

One man who could be given that very job on Saturday is the vastly improved Etienne Capoue.

Enjoying by far his brightest spell in England’s top-tier, his partnership with Abdoulaye Doucouré at the heart of Watford’s midfield has played a huge part in their start to the season.

The one time Tottenham misfit sits in the top 10 for the Premier League’s tackles completed and only Huddersfield’s Zanka and Southampton’s Mario Lemina have made more interceptions.

His performances have been so impressive that Garcia believes the 30-year-old is one of the divisions top midfielders.

“Capoue is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League and do not have any doubt about that.”

Missing the Hornets 1-1 draw with Southampton a fortnight ago due to his suspension, Capoue’s ability to illegally break-up play could be a huge factor in keeping Firmino quiet.

Only Watford teammate José Holebas has picked up more booking than the Frenchman’s five already this season.

 

Roberto Pereyra vs Trent Alexander-Arnold

Along with Capoue, one man who is also making an early case for Watford’s Player of the Season has been winger Roberto Pereyra.

Doing an impressive job of filling the Richarlison shaped void at Vicarage Road, the former Juventus man is the Hornets’ leading goalscorer with five goals in his 12 appearances.

Undoubtedly enjoying his brightest start since his move from Turin back in 2016, Pereyra’s performances have earned him a recall to Argentina’s national side and his stats compared to last year’s PFA Player of the Year show just how important he is to Watford.

While it has been Pereyra’s creativity in the final third which has gained him the most plaudits, Liverpool’s arrival this weekend will call for a more disciplined display from the 27-year-old.

Scoring his first international goal and picking up the Man of the Match award in England’s 3-0 win over the USA earlier in the month, Trent Alexander-Arnold is once again enjoying a successful start to the season.

Along with being part of the joint best defensive record in the Premier League, along with Manchester City, the 20-year-old right-back has once again been a huge part of the Reds’ attack.

Completing the most crosses for Liverpool this year, Alexander-Arnold is also the only Premier League youngster to be shortlisted for the Golden Boy award.

With no player for Watford being dispossessed more than Pereyra after 12 games, Garcia will know that he can not allow his wide man to give Liverpool the chance to break on the counter.

 

Premier League Previews & News

  • premier-league-logo-55x55 Watford vs Liverpool: 3 key battles to keep an eye on at Vicarage Road

    Premier League Fixtures: Norwich Handed Nightmare Opening Game to the Season

    The Premier League fixtures for the 2019/20 season have just been released and the opening weekend throws up some exciting fixtures. We are yet to find out which matches will be shown on TV but fans now know who their teams will be playing on the opening weekend.   When does the 2019/20 Premier League season start? The opening weekend …Read More »
  • Pogba-55x55 Watford vs Liverpool: 3 key battles to keep an eye on at Vicarage Road

    Paul Pogba to Real Madrid, Gareth Bale to Manchester United?

    Reports are suggesting that Gareth Bale will be offered to Manchester United as part of a swap deal for Paul Pogba this summer. With Eden Hazard now a Real Madrid player, it looks like Zinedine Zidane will try and move the Welsh superstar on. Paul Pogba was largely blamed for the troubles at Manchester United last season, having a huge …Read More »
  • Liverpool-new-away-kit-2019-55x55 Watford vs Liverpool: 3 key battles to keep an eye on at Vicarage Road

    Liverpool Unveil New Away Kit for the 2019/20 Season

    Liverpool have today released the first pictures of their new white away kit for the 2019/20 season. The New Balance kit was the subject of much controversy when images were leaked online before the official launch on Friday 7th June. The official Liverpool Football Club website explained that the design “takes inspiration from iconic street signs around Anfield, while its …Read More »
  • Harry-Maguire-Leicester-55x55 Watford vs Liverpool: 3 key battles to keep an eye on at Vicarage Road

    Harry Maguire Transfer News – Premier League Top 6 Battle it out: Next Club Odds

    Leicester City and England defender Harry Maguire is being linked with a move away from the King Power Stadium this summer, with the Premier League’s top clubs all seemingly interested in signing the player. With Vincent Kompany announcing that he is leaving Manchester City and Pep Guardiola in the market for his replacement, Maguire seems to fit that bill perfectly …Read More »
  • Man-United-Stadium-55x55 Watford vs Liverpool: 3 key battles to keep an eye on at Vicarage Road

    Premier League Attendances 2018-19 – How full was each stadium?

    Manchester City have been crowned the Premier League champions again, but which Premier League fans filled their teams stadium the most? We take a look at the average attendances as a % of the stadium’s capacity below. It was another tremendous season in England’s top flight, with the title race going down to the last game of the season and …Read More »
  • Zaha-transfer-odds-55x55 Watford vs Liverpool: 3 key battles to keep an eye on at Vicarage Road

    Wilfried Zaha Wants Champions League Football: Next Club Betting Odds

    Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha has rocked the club by stating he wants to leave to play Champions League football, putting some of Europe’s biggest clubs on high alert.  Zaha is in his second spell at Crystal Palace, after failing to make an impact when he signed for Manchester United 2013. Sir Alex Ferguson made that signing but retired shortly …Read More »

Related Posts: