STAR PREVIEW: Watford v Man City

Manchester City are only leading by two points after 14 Premier League games but so impressive have they been that they are just 2/9 to retain their title with and bookmakers don’t give Watford much hope this evening.

Javi Garcia’s men had a strong start to the season and will be happy sitting in tenth with just two points separating them from Everton in sixth, and a handy gap of 10 points from the relegation zone. However, they have lost their steam in recent weeks, with just one goal in their last four following a 2-0 defeat against Leicester.

That scoreline isn’t entirely representative of the game – Roberto Pereyra and Andre Gray missed big chances and there was a sting at the end as Etienne Capoue was then red carded. Nathan Chabolah will replace him if their red card appeal is unsuccessful but there are better times to face City.

The league leaders kept their 100% home record against Bournemouth on Saturday when Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan scored goals to put away a determined Bournemouth side who managed to make the Citizens sweat hard for an hour and more. Guardiola complained about his side feeling a little bit flat, although victory was still deserved and the huge depth that City have is likely to come to the fore.

City have 13 upcoming games in the next 44 days, so rotation is key but John Stones, Kyle Walker, and Riyad Mahrez could all be recalled having missed the starting XI on Saturday and Gabriel Jesus can deputise for Sergio Aguero upfront, with Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane still on sparkling form.

It’s no surprise that they are 2/9 to win, but Watford could be given a chance by City’s schedule. Chelsea away – one of the few fixtures on paper that looks difficult for them to win domestically – is coming on Sunday and it would be no surprise if changes were made with that fixture in mind. City have led at the break in the majority of their Premier League games this season but it’s possible that we might not see them at their very best with a different target and perhaps that could keep Watford relatively close.

Watford v Man City
Premier League
20:00 BT Sport 1 / BT Sport 4K UHD

(Maximum 10 matches*)
JAN 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 3-1 Watford
SEP 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Watford 0-6 Manchester City
MAY 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Watford 0-5 Manchester City
DEC 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 2-0 Watford
JAN 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Watford 1-2 Manchester City
AUG 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 2-0 Watford
JAN 2014 FA CUP Manchester City 4-2 Watford
JAN 2013 FA CUP Manchester City 3-0 Watford
APR 2007 PREMIERSHIP Watford 1-1 Manchester City
DEC 2006 PREMIERSHIP Manchester City 0-0 Watford

This has been a bad old fixture for Watford – City won 6-0 and 5-0 there in May and September of 2017 – but they could well escape a hiding this time around.

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