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

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Manchester City v Watford

Premier League: Sat, 9/03  Stadium: Etihad Stadium

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This game is far from a foregone conclusion in City’s favour and we feel that Watford will be able to frustrate the champions for long periods of this game. Under 3.5 goals is priced at evens (1/1) with Bet365 and with City scoring just two goals in their last three games and with key player picking up injuries, this market could be a good pick for this game. Watford are also priced at 13/8 for a +2 goal handicap, which means City need to win by two goals or more which could be a real value bet.

*Odds correct at time of publication.

Champions Manchester City welcome Watford having returned to the top of the league and will look to continue their push for an unprecedented quadruple. Watford will be looking to continue their impressive season under Javi Gracia, sitting equal on points with Wolves in their quest for a top seven finish.

Having been in imperious form earlier in the season and scoring goals for fun, City have become a bit more pragmatic in recent games scoring two in their last three games in all competitions. The sheer volume of games has meant that the team hasn’t been able to steamroller teams as they did earlier in the season and the results are of more importance than performances at this late stage. These were however games they dominated with the vast majority of possession and they will be looking for more of the same, having returned to the top after back to back 1-0 victories against West Ham and Bournemouth respectively.

Watford have lost just once in their last six games in all competitions and twice in their last 13. The games they lost in that time were against two of the top three in Tottenham and Liverpool, with the loss at Anfield the only major concern as they shipped five goals. The Hornets however bounced straight back with a 2-1 victory over Leicester and will be a potential banana skin for City as they have the quality and strength to compete against the champions.

History certainly isn’t on the side of Watford as they have to go back to the old First Division in 1987 for their last victory over City. A 2-1 win for the champions earlier in the season points to another City win, with Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez getting the goals to secure victory. Watford did however make it nervy with an 85th minute goal from Doucoure and their recent defensive record is a good one, which will make it difficult for City to break through.

The squad depth of City will certainly be tested in this game as the impact of a long season starts materialising with key players picking up injuries. Centre-back pairing Aymeric Laporte and John Stones are both out alongside playmaker Kevin De Bruyne. However City will be particularly concerned in seeing key midfielder Fernandinho hobble off, as their defeats earlier in the season coincided with the midfielders absence.

Kiko Femenia remains out for Watford but they could welcome back Miguel Britos after he recovered from illness.

Although Manchester City start this game as overwhelming favourites, the extensive injury list is bound to disrupt their fluency and preparation. Vincent Kompany is likely to partner Nicolas Otamendi in defence with Gundogan likely to marshall the midfield in front of the back four. With the team most likely needing their wingers to track back and help means Bernardo Silva could get the nod above Mahrez and Leroy Sane on the flanks.

This game is far from a foregone conclusion in City’s favour and we feel that Watford will be able to frustrate the champions for long periods of this game. Under 3.5 goals is priced at evens (1/1) with Bet365 and with City scoring just two goals in their last three games and with key player picking up injuries, this market could be a good pick for this game. Watford are also priced at 13/8 for a +2 goal handicap, which means City need to win by two goals or more which could be a real value bet.

*Odds correct at time of publication.

 

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