By 90Min
August 11, 2017

The first Premier League game on Saturday is at Vicarage Road as a new look Watford welcome Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool. 

The Hornets have another new manager with Marco Silva taking over from Walter Mazzarri and he has made a number of new signings. Liverpool come into the new season with speculation continuing over the future of star ma Philippe Coutinho. 

Here is everything you need to know about the lunchtime showdown.


Classic Encounter

Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Liverpool have dominated this fixture down the years with the exception of a meeting in December 2015. The Reds were still recovering from a slow start to the season which saw Brendan Rodgers sacked. Jurgen Klopp had been at Anfield for just over two months when his side ran into a red-hot Watford. 

Klopp had handed a debut to Adam Bogdan and he endured a nightmare start, dropping a corner allowing Nathan Ake to open the scoring for Watford after three minutes. Odion Ighalo then added two further goals as Watford won the game 3-0. 

It was the Hornets' fourth straight win, their best run in the top flight since 1987 and at the time they were in 7th place. 


Recent Form

Keith Tsuji/GettyImages

Liverpool's pre-season has been fairly successful. They picked up the Premier League Asia Trophy, beating Leicester in the final and then they were hugely impressive in the Audi Cup where they dispatched Bayern Munich in the semi final. The Reds completed their preparations for the new season with a 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao in Dublin.

Watford won both of their fixtures in Austria by a single goal against Viktoria Plzeň and Eibar. Both games since their return to England have ended in goalless draws against Aston Villa and Real Sociedad. 


Team News

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Watford are expected to give a number of debuts in Marco Silva's first competitive game in charge. Kiko Femenía at right back, as well as Will Hughes and Nathaniel Chalobah should all be involved on Saturday. New signing Andre Gray may not be ready to start and looks set to be on the bench. Troy Deeney is injured with Stefano Okaka likely to replace him.

Liverpool are without Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge. Mohammed Salah will make his competitive debut for the Reds in an exciting front three alongside Saido Mane and Roberto Firmino. Nathaniel Clyne is another man who is injured so 18-year old Trent Alexander-Arnold will have a chance as a right back. 

Potential Watford line up: Gomes, Femenia, Prodl, Kaboul, Holebas, Chalobah, Hughes, Amrabat, Capoue, Cleverley, Okaka


Potential Liverpool line up: Mignolet, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Lovren, Milner, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Can, Firmino, Mane, Salah


Prediction 

FBL-ENG-PR-HULL-TOTTENHAM

This is a tricky first assignment for Liverpool. Despite a shocking end to last season, Vicarage Road is a tricky place to go and win with the Hornets looking to give Silva the perfect start to his reign.

They are likely to be difficult to break down but without Troy Deeney it is hard to see where the goals will come from until Andre Gray is ready to play. Liverpool scored 78 goals last season with only Chelsea and Spurs scoring more and will hope for an opening day away win.

Prediction: Watford 0-2 Liverpool

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