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Dec 4, 2021 at 5.30pm UK
WatfordWatford
1-3
Man CityManchester City
Camilo Hernandez (74')
King (7'), Rose (31'), Cathcart (85')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Sterling (4'), Silva (31', 63')

Preview: Watford vs. Manchester City - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Watford vs. Manchester City - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Watford and Manchester City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Seeking to keep the pressure on Premier League table-toppers Chelsea, Manchester City travel to Watford for Saturday 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.


Match preview

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 Saturday's game on a 13-match winning streak versus the Hornets since a 1-1 draw in 2007.

Watford Premier League form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Manchester City Premier League form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Manchester City form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Watford defender Adam Masina was passed fit for the Chelsea game but had to come off after just 12 minutes, so Danny Rose is set to deputise this time around.

Ismaila Sarr, Kwadwo Baah, Ben Foster, Nicolas N'Koulou and Peter Etebo will be sidelined for the rest of the calendar year, but Ken Sema and Francisco Sierralta ought to return soon.

It would not be surprising to see Juraj Kucka come into contention for a start in a fatigued midfield, but Ranieri will be reluctant to shuffle the pack too much given his side's valiant showing in midweek.

As for City, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish were both fit enough to make the bench in midweek, but Ilkay Gundogan, John Stones and Kyle Walker were all forced to miss out.

The trio will all be fine for the trip south, though, while Ferran Torres remains out and Kevin De Bruyne has now recovered from COVID-19 infection.

Aymeric Laporte's return from suspension is a welcome boost, though, and both Grealish and Foden could be deemed fit enough to start, although it would be a surprise to see both men complete the full 90.

Watford possible starting lineup:
Bachmann; Ngakia, Troost-Ekong, Cathcart, Rose; Kucka; Dennis, Sissoko, Cleverley, Pedro; King

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko; Silva, Rodri, Foden; Jesus, Sterling, Grealish


We say: Watford 1-3 Manchester City

Watford deserve immense credit for the way they took the game to Chelsea amid the difficult circumstances, but a lack of defensive discipline could cost them dear once again.

City's attacking line has been bolstered by the returns of Foden and Grealish, and with Guardiola's side developing a ruthless streak away from home, we do not expect any surprises at Vicarage Road.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


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Match previews - Daily
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City22182254134156
2Liverpool21136255183745
3Chelsea22127345172843
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham22114741301137
5Arsenal2011273325835
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs1810352320333
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd209563229332
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves209471715231
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2061042121028
10Leicester CityLeicester187473133-225
11Crystal Palace215973031-124
12Southampton215972533-824
13Aston Villa2072112732-523
14Brentford2165102433-923
15Leeds UnitedLeeds205782439-1522
16Everton1954102434-1019
17Watford1942132337-1414
18Norwich CityNorwich2134141045-3513
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2019102043-2312
20Burnley171881627-1111
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City22182254134156
2Liverpool21136255183745
3Chelsea22127345172843
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham22114741301137
5Arsenal2011273325835
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs1810352320333
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd209563229332
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves209471715231
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2061042121028
10Leicester CityLeicester187473133-225
11Crystal Palace215973031-124
12Southampton215972533-824
13Aston Villa2072112732-523
14Brentford2165102433-923
15Leeds UnitedLeeds205782439-1522
16Everton1954102434-1019
17Watford1942132337-1414
18Norwich CityNorwich2134141045-3513
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2019102043-2312
20Burnley171881627-1111
Scroll for more - Tap for full version

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