Next up for runaway league leaders Liverpool is an easy-looking date with rock-bottom Watford, in a game which will see Nigel Pearson take charge of his first game for the visitors.
Premier League 2019/2020
Date: Saturday, 14th December
Kick-off: 13:30 UK time
TV Channel: Sky Sports
Liverpool breezed into the knockout stages of the Champions League after beating Salzburg on Tuesday, and will set their sights on maintaining their healthy lead atop the division’s standings with another victory just before taking a short domestic break for their FIFA Club World Cup adventure.
With three games to come in the space of five days for The Reds starting from this one, Jurgen Klopp will have to find a way of managing his squad while ensuring they remain competent on all fronts. The German is expected to rotate here, and will hand game time to most of his charges that played no part in Austria during their midweek hostilities.
Perhaps, it helps that it is Watford they face at their fortress before the farewell — the Hornets have won just one league game this term and have not got off the relegation places all season. Pearson surely have a great deal of work at hand to stop the defeats which have largely played a part in Watford’s woes.
The visitors have lost nine of their sixteen league games — only Norwich (10) who sit just above them with two more points have lost more.
And Anfield have not been a happy hunting ground for them: look away now, Hornets fans — Watford have lost all of their last six trips to the Merseyside since 2005 by a combined scoreline of 21-1!
Nathaniel Clyne, Joel Matip and Fabinho are long term absentees for Jurgen Klopp’s side while he would hope there is nothing really serious with Dejan Lovren who limped off versus Salzburg.
Adam Lallana has been battling a thigh problem but could make his return to play some part here.
Pearson will be missing the services of Jose Holebas, Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley and Sebastian Prodl for the trip to Anfield.
Craig Dawson and Daryl Janmaat are doubts and will be assessed closer to kick off.
Head to head
Liverpool have won 23 of the last 32 meetings with Watford in all competitions, with Watford managing five and holding their opposition to a draw four times.
The Reds have won the last most recent three, however.
Liverpool are unbeaten in each of their last 46 home games in the Premier League.
Watford are winless in 19 of their last 20 league games.
Liverpool have been winning at both half time and full time in 14 of their last 19 league games.
Liverpool will be gunning for another routine victory as they edge even closer to picking up the league title. They are much far ahead of the chasing pack thanks to their almost impeccable run so far this season. Liverpool’s last five league games(WWWWW)
Watford will hope the appointment of Pearson is the start of good things for them, but the stats when squaring up against The Reds ensures this one is a daunting task for them. Watford’s last five league games(WLLLD)
Watford drew at halftime/fulltime when they faced Crystal Palace last time out but up against a quality side as Liverpool, they stand very little chance. The first punt is for Liverpool to be leading at both halves (4/6), as they have done in 14 of their last 19 league games.
It might also be a case of how many the hosts will go on to score and given that they have scored at least three goals or more in each of the last four occasions they faced Watford, a scoreline of 3-0 (15/2) in Liverpool’s favour might suffice here, and thus opens up the goalscorers market for The Reds front men.