Manchester City vs Watford Match Preview
Manchester City aim to finish within the top four with a win over Watford.
Manchester City need to win this match to ensure an automatic Champions League spot. Both Liverpool and Arsenal are trailing City by 2 points and 3 points respectively. That means, the Sky Blues must win this game to secure 3rd spot which means automatic qualification for the Champions League. Any other outcome except a win means City have to depend on the results of Liverpool and Arsenal games.
Pressure is high on Pep Guardiola to lead his side to a Champions League place after enduring the first trophyless season of his career. Guardiola has warned his players that Watford has nothing to lose as they have already secured a place in next year’s Premier League and they would be very much difficult to contain.
Watford, on the other side, have gone through a decent campaign. They currently sit at the 16th position in the league table and have already secured their Premier League status for the next season. Watford manager Walter Mazzarri will leave the club after this season. That means although this game has no particular value to hold for the Hornets, the players would surely try to win this one to bid their gaffer a befitting adieu.
Competition – Premier League
Date – 21st May, 2017, Sunday
Time – 3:00pm (UK), 7:30pm (IST)
Venue – Vicarage Road
TV Info – Sky Sports 2(UK), NBCSN(US)
Live Stream – Sky Go, NBC Sports Live, Hotstar
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Assistants: C Hatzidakis, A Halliday
Fourth official: K Friend
Recent form (Last 5 league matches)
Manchester City – D D W W W
West Brom – L L L L L
No latest injuries for City to be concerned except long-term absentees Bravo, Gundogan and Delph.
Probable line-up(Formation – 4-1-4-1): Caballero, Kolarov, Otamendi, Kompany, Zabaleta, Fernandinho, Sané, Silva, De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero
Injuries and Suspensions: Claudio Bravo (calf injury), İlkay Gündoğan (muscle injury), Fabian Delph (leg injury)
Watford will again be without Younes Kaboul and Craig Cathcart with Mauro Zarate and Roberto Pereyra are expected to be sidelined too. Sebastian Prodl is suspended after his latest red card against Chelsea on the last matchday. Miguel Britos is fighting with time to be fit for the clash.
Probable line-up(Formation – 4-5-1):Gomes, Holebas, Capoue, Mariappa, Janmaat, Niang, Cleverley, Behrami, Doucouré, Amrabat, Okaka
Injuries and Suspensions: Roberto Pereyra (knee injury), Mauro Zárate (cruciate ligament injury), Younes Kaboul (hamstring injury), Craig Cathcart (knee injury), Sebastian Prödl (suspended), Miguel Britos (calf muscle injury) [Status – Doubtful], Christian Kabasele (thigh injury) [Status – Doubtful]
Manchester City have never lost against Watford in the Premier League era. Their 6 meetings saw City came up as winners 4 times and rest of the 2 matches ended in draw. Earlier this season, City came up as 2-0 winners at the Etihad. Both of their matches last season went in favour of Manchester City, 2-1 and 2-0 being the scorelines.
Manchester City need to claim all the 3 points from this clash to ensure automatic Champions League qualification. Pep Guardiola certainly knows how to finish the task with perfection. City have the squad depth and the quality to do it with ease. I will go with a 4-1 scoreline in favour of Manchester City.