Liverpool V Watford – Views From The Opposition

Recent Form (last 5 games in the league):

Liverpool:                                                                                                       Wins: 4 – Hull (h), Swansea (a), West Brom (h), Crystal Palace (a).               Loses: 0.                                                      Draws: 1 – Man Utd (h).                           Goals For: 13.                                              Goals Against: 5

Wins: 2 – Boro (a), Hull (h)
Loses: 1 – Burnley (a)
Draws: 2 Bournemouth (h), Swansea (a)
Goals For: 4
Goals Against: 4

Key Battles:

Daryl Janmaat v Alberto Moreno –

Janmaat made his first appearance since coming back from injury against Hull last weekend and with one of his first touches he threaded Deeney through which almost resulted in a goal. Coming up against Moreno in the wing back position for Liverpool will be a fierce battle. Janmaat has a very direct style of play about him which could cause some trouble for the Spanish wing back.

Phillipe Coutinho v Younes Kaboul – 

Coutinho has been in scintillating form for Liverpool this season scoring four goals in nine starting appearances, he has been a big reason as to why Liverpool sit joint top of the Premier League going into this weekend’s clash with Watford. He’ll come up against an experience Younnes Kaboul, who has four clean sheets to his name in the last four games. On paper, it seems a very one sided battle, and although Kaboul can sometimes feel as if he’s stealing a living, this battle will be one to watch.

Troy Deeney v Dejan Lovren – 

Troy Deeney will no doubt be a huge threat to Liverpool’s back line on Sunday. Last season at Vicarage Road he was involved with all three of Watford’s goals against Liverpool and caused problems all game for Liverpool. Dejan Lovren comes into this game in a mixed run of form. Last time out against Crystal Palace he gifted James McArthur a goal after a mix up with his goalkeeper and around eight minutes later scored to make amends for his mistake at the other end. This battle will be one to watch for the full 90 minutes.

Jordan Henderson v Roberto Pereyra – 

Henderson is a fan favourite around the red half of Merseyside and is also the captain of The Reds. He’s been a real work horse in the centre of midfield so far this season for Liverpool, scoring one, assisting two and having an average rating over the nine games he’s played in of 7.5/10. Roberto Pereyra arrived at Watford being their record signing at £13.5m (after add-ons) and has settled into English football and life at Watford very well. He made his debut coming off of the bench against Arsenal and scored and since then has become a key player in Watford’s midfield. Although he hasn’t scored since that game, he has since picked up two assists. One against West Ham for Jose Holebas’ goal and one against Manchester United assisting Zuniga. This will be a big clash in the centre of midfield at Anfield on Sunday.

Players to Watch for Watford:

Troy Deeney – will no doubt be one to watch for Watford in this game. It goes without saying that he’s the heart of the Watford side. 95% of what Watford do as a team goes through their big man up top, he’s been so key for them for years.

Etienne Capoue – The Frenchman was in red hot form at the beginning of the season, scoring four, assisting once and getting one man of the match award. This record doesn’t sound great, but when take into consideration he played nearly in nearly all of Watford’s games last season and scored none, to score four goals in ten games isn’t a bad return at all.

Nordin Amrabat – Nordin struggled to find a consistent run of form when he joined Watford from Malaga in January for £6m and was arguably one of the weakest players for Watford last season. However, this season he has been in immense form. He’s played the majority of his games in the RWB role however has been pushed a little futher up to play RM when Daryl Janmaat has been in the starting eleven. He won his first Man of the Match award in a Watford shirt last time out against Hull with one of the best performances I’ve seen since he’s joined the club.

Players to watch for Liverpool:

Roberto Firmino – The Brazilian has linked up well with his fellow countryman Phillipe Countinho in recent matches and has been a real handful for opposition defences. He’s scored four goals in nine appearances and has also grabbed himself an assist too. He also put in a very solid performance against Palace last weekend.

James Milner – Milner was missing last weekend in Liverpool’s 4-2 win against Palace due to being ill, however he should be back for Sunday’s game against Watford. Just like Firmino, he’s been on red hot form scoring four goals and grabbing one assist in eight appearances so far this season. He’s also been moved into a LB role by manager Jürgen Klopp which he seems to have settled into well.

Joël Matip – The Cameroonian international swapped Schalke for Liverpool in the summer and has become a regular first team starter. He’s played a total of eight games so far this season for Liverpool and has scored one goal. Matip is still quite young at 25 and with a manager like Klopp he’s only going to get better. Troy Deeney and his Watford side will have a tough time trying to get past him on Sunday.
Match Thoughts:

The thing most of us Watford fans think of when Liverpool’s name is mentioned is when we beat them 3-0 at Vicarage Road last season. To come out and play the way we did against one of the toughest sides in the division was both a credit to how Quique Flores had his team organised and the attitude and commitment of the players. However, in the reverse fixture at Anfield at the back end of last season, I think we saw the real Liverpool who ran out comfortable 2-0 winners on the day. Although we’re four games unbeaten and have four clean sheets to our name, we must be realistic and realise that Liverpool will be coming into this game as heavy, heavy favourites – scoring thirteen goals and only conceding five is an amazing record at this point in the season; Klopp has them playing well. If we can take a point away from Anfield on Sunday, then I think that would be a great result for us. 

Written by @LGTSmiffy

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