Liverpool will host Watford at Anfield in the Premier League on Saturday as club football returns after a two-week break. The Reds are on a nine-game winning streak in the league and have gone unbeaten in their last ten games since a 0-1 loss to Leicester City in December. With Manchester City dropping points in their last few games, the Reds are now only a point behind them in second place, with nine games in hand.
Liverpool won their previous fixture against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup thanks to a Diogo Jota strike in the second half. With that win against Forest in the quarter-finals, the Reds have now set up a semi-final fixture against Manchester City in the FA Cup. The Reds completed a comfortable 2-0 win against Arsenal in their EPL fixture. Liverpool have lost only two games in the Premier League and have a great defensive record. They have the joint-most number of clean sheets in the Premier League alongside Manchester City.
The above visual indicates that Arsenal did create several chances against Liverpool, but the Reds did well to deny the attacks. The xT timeline indicates that Arsenal created a threat for the Liverpool defense throughout the game, but were unable to capitalize on these chances. Liverpool had two shots on target and scored with both of these shots on goal.
Liverpool players have attempted 331 shots on goal from inside the penalty area and have hit the target 152 times. Liverpool players have taken 912 touches inside the opposition’s box, the most this season, with an average of 29.24 touches per 90. Liverpool always manage to get more players in the opposition’s box and build their way through the opposition’s defense.
Watford are involved in yet another relegation scramble, sitting in 18th place, with six wins and 22 points from 29 games. The Hornets have already seen three managers this season, with Xisco and Claudio Ranieri being sacked, and Roy Hodgson taking over in January. Watford have shown signs of improvement under Hodgson, but there’s still a long way to go for them.
Watford have attempted 2027 defensive duels and have won approximately 60% of their aerial duels. They have won 38.75 duels per 90 minutes but have still struggled to stop the opposition’s attacks. They only managed to keep their first clean sheet in the 23rd game they played this season and have conceded 55 goals so far. They will have to put up better defensive performances to get positive results if they want to move out of the relegation zone.
City and Liverpool are set to face each other at the Etihad in a potentially title-deciding clash next weekend. Both teams will be cautious against dropping points in that game. Liverpool have beaten Watford 5-0 in the reverse fixture this season and should be able to claim a victory against the Hornets on Saturday.
Liverpool predicted starting lineup:
Alisson; Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Firmino, Jota.
Watford predicted starting lineup:
Foster; Femenia, Kabasele, Samir, Kamara; Louza, Sissoko, Kucka; Hernandez, Pedro, Dennis.