Watford vs. Man City
Venue: Vicarage Road
Kick off: 6:30PM
Seeking to keep the pressure on Premier League table-toppers Chelsea, Manchester City travel to Watford for this evening’s encounter.
The hosts went down 2-1 to the Blues in midweek, while Pep Guardiola’s men saw off Aston Villa by the same scoreline.
Some things are more important than football, as players on both sides at Vicarage Road anxiously awaited updates following a medical emergency in the crowd, with the game being halted early in the first half on Wednesday evening.
After receiving positive news on the supporter’s condition, Watford and Chelsea resumed action on the field, but the Hornets could not replicate their fast start as Mason Mount and Hakim Ziyech won the day for the Blues, who did concede to Emmanuel Dennis’s smart finish.
Claudio Ranieri’s men are now hovering just above the relegation zone in 17th place – three points better off than Burnley, who have a game in hand – but the Hornets can certainly take the positives from their narrow defeat to the European champions.
Defensive deficiencies continue to plague this Watford side, who are yet to keep a clean sheet in the 2021-22 Premier League season, and they welcome City to Vicarage Road having shipped 14 at home already – only Newcastle United have conceded more on their own patch.
Pep Guardiola had two powerful Portuguese efforts to thank as City managed to get over the line at Villa Park, ending Steven Gerrard’s 100% start to life back in the Premier League in the process.
Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva both rifled in eye-catching strikes in the first half before Ollie Watkins replied for Aston Villa just after the restart, and despite coming under siege in the West Midlands, the champions ultimately held on for a precious three points.
Victory at Villa Park marked City’s sixth triumph in a row across all competitions – during which time they have scored at least two goals in every game – and their hot streak sees them hold their second-placed ranking in the table, one point adrift of Chelsea and one clear of Liverpool.
Guardiola’s side also chalked up the latest in a long line of away successes during Wednesday’s clash, as they have now taken 16 points from the last 18 on offer on the road in the top flight, and the champions can feel confident about their prospects of chalking up at least two goals away from home for the fifth game in a row here.
City need no second invitation to hit their merciless best in this fixture, as they won both fixtures by an aggregate scoreline of 12-0 in the 2019-20 season and enter today’s game on a 13-match winning streak versus the Hornets since a 1-1 draw in 2007.
Watford possible XI: Bachmann, Ngakia, Troost-Ekong, Cathcart, Rose, Kucka, Dennis, Sissoko, Cleverley, Pedro, King.
Man City possible XI: Ederson, Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko, Silva, Rodri, Foden, Jesus, Sterling, Grealish.