Liverpool v Watford Betting Preview: Latest odds, team news, tips and predictions

Liverpool v Watford match preview image

Premier League Liverpool v Watford

Liverpool logo Watford logo

Saturday, December 14, 2019


Anfield

Punter's Pick

Liverpool start this game as strong favourites and there is little value in backing an outright win. We feel given the form of the Reds and the fact that they have started to score more freely that backing the -2 goals handicap is a good bet. Bet365 are currently offering this at 6/5 and given this has come in over their last three fixtures against Watford, it is a run which is likely to continue. We are also backing a -4 handicap on corners for Liverpool, as long periods of dominance in the Watford half is likely to materialise in Liverpool getting five or more corners against their opponents.

Liverpool welcome bottom side Watford to Anfield as they continue their quest for a first league title in nearly 30 years. The Reds have been in dominant form but Watford will be looking to a fresh start under Nigel Pearson who kept Leicester up in the 2014/15 season. Can the new manager spark a revival and shock the leaders at home?

Liverpool come into this game having won seven league games on the bounce as well as securing their passage to the next round of the Champions League. The goals have started to flow for the Reds after some close encounters where they were often winning late and by the odd goal. A 5-2 demolition of neighbours Everton was followed up with a comfortable 3-0 away win at Bournemouth to maintain their eight point lead at the top and in midweek two quickfire goals from Mo Salah and Naby Keita secured their passage to the last 16 of the Champions League. In recent times Jurgen Klopp has been forced to rotate his squad in order to compete on all fronts as well as ensure his players remain fresh and this is a strategy that has worked. He may look to shift things around again as they have been winning against the bottom sides comfortably and with the Club World Cup on the horizon, it may be another opportunity to rest some star players. The manager will be particularly pleased at how those coming in have hit the ground running, with Origi and Shaqiri impressing against Everton and Naby Keita coming back to fill in for Fabinho and scoring in his last two appearances. The squad depth is strong and they will be favourites to get all three points in this one.

Watford sacked their second manager of the season and have now brought in Nigel Pearson to try and navigate a great escape. The team is currently six points away from safety but a run of results will propel them up the table, especially given the form of the teams around them. The former Leicester man will be buoyed by the fact that much of the team that performed so well in the league last season and that got to the FA Cup Final is still intact, but has failed to replicate their form. If he can get the shape right and solidify his midfield with the likes of Cleverley, Capoue and Doucoure, then he can allow his flair players in Deulofeu and Pereyra to get up and support Troy Deeney. It was a formula that worked well but the players themselves also need to respond as there will be more scrutiny on them if they cannot produce for a third manager this season. There were signs of improvement in their last game, which they drew against Crystal Palace, ending a three game losing streak.

In team news Liverpool will be making a late call on Dejan Lovren, who has been substituted in successive games due to cramp. Joe Gomez will be vying to fill the void as Joel Matip is out for the remainder of 2019 and Fabinho remains injured. It will be interesting to see if Klopp goes with his preferred front three or decides to bring in Origi and Shaqiri to help keep his players fresh.

Watford are sweating on the fitness of Craig Dawson and Daryl Janmaat who they hope will be fit. However they will continue to be without Tom Cleverley, Jose Holebas, Sebastian Prodl and Danny Welbeck.

Over the years Liverpool have dominated this fixture with Watford fans having to go back to 2015 when they last registered a victory over the Reds. That day Odion Ighalo inspired them to a 3-0 win but Liverpool have comprehensively won their last three fixtures with two scorelines of 5-0 and one of 3-0. The corresponding fixture last season saw both Sadio Mane and Virgil Van DIjk score twice, with Divock Origi also chipping in.

Punter's Pick

Liverpool start this game as strong favourites and there is little value in backing an outright win. We feel given the form of the Reds and the fact that they have started to score more freely that backing the -2 goals handicap is a good bet. Bet365 are currently offering this at 6/5 and given this has come in over their last three fixtures against Watford, it is a run which is likely to continue. We are also backing a -4 handicap on corners for Liverpool, as long periods of dominance in the Watford half is likely to materialise in Liverpool getting five or more corners against their opponents.

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