Liverpool slipped to fourth after its loss to Manchester United but can re-strengthen its positioning at Anfield vs. the Hornets.

By 90Min
March 16, 2018

Liverpool will look to return to winning ways this weekend when they welcome Javi Garcia's Watford side to Anfield on Saturday.

The Reds left Old Trafford empty handed last time out following a 2-1 defeat which put an end to a seven match unbeaten streak in all competitions.

Meanwhile, visitors Watford travel to Merseyside having been dispatched 3-0 at the Emirates stadium last time out, a result which leaves them in 10th position in the Premier League table.  


Classic Encounter

The last meeting between these two came on the opening day and produced one of the current season's most entertaining clashes thus far. 

An unmarked Stefano Okaka headed the Hornets into an early lead, before a well taken Sadio Mané finish restored parity. In a game which ebbed and flowed from the outset, Watford would retake the lead before the half time interval thanks to Abdoulaye Doucouré.

Liverpool thought they had won it in the second half, however, as a Roberto Firmino penalty and Mohamed Salah strike on debut appeared to be enough to hand the Reds all three points, before late controversy denied Jurgen Klopp's men.

A stoppage time corner was unconvincingly dealt with by Liverpool's defense, leading to a goalmouth scrap which eventually saw Miguel Britos bundle the ball over the line. Replays showed Britos had in fact been in an offside position during the build up, however the goal stood and the points were shared in a thrilling 3-3 draw.


Key Battle

José Holebas vs Mohamed Salah

Liverpool's frustration against Manchester United came largely due to their inability to get star man Salah into the game. United full back Ashley Young subdued Salah outstandingly well which in turn denied the Reds a key attacking avenue.

For Watford to be able to do the same they will need left back José Holebas to play a similar role in getting tight to the Egyptian, not allowing him time or space to turn and run at the Hornet's defense.

Salah will undoubtedly be desperate to return to the scoresheet as the hotly anticipated race for the golden boot took an unexpected twist this week with the news that Spurs frontman Harry Kane sustained an ankle injury which will keep him out for at least a month.


Team News

The home side's most significant injury concern comes in the shape of Adam Lallana who was forced to sit out training in midweek due to a reoccurrence of a thigh injury which has plagued the Englishman all season.

Skipper Jordan Henderson and fellow midfield man Georginio Wijnaldum both started on the bench last weekend but an option for Klopp could be to rotate one or both back into the side for this one.

As for the visitors, Watford have no new injury concerns to add to an already lengthy list of injury absentees which includes Gerard Deulofeu, Tom Cleverley and Younes Kaboul.

Manager Javi Garcia has confirmed this week that defender Craig Cathcart - sidelined since August due to a knee injury - is in contention to return.

Potential Liverpool Starting Lineup: Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mané.

Potential Watford Starting Lineup: Karnezis; Femenía, Prödl, Mariappa, Holebas; Doucouré, Capoue; Janmaat, Pereyra, Richarlison; Deeney.


Prediction

Liverpool will be anxious to return to winning ways in their bid to secure their place in the top four following last weekend's setback, and this fixture presents an ideal opportunity to do so.

Watford's showing at the Emirates was uninspiring as a struggling Arsenal side were able to secure what became a relatively routine win, and the Hornets can expect an even tougher test at Anfield.

For large parts at Old Trafford, Salah, Firmino, Mane and co. struggled to get out of first gear and as such will be chomping at the bit to be unleashed onto Javi Garcia's injury hit Watford side.

Score Prediction: Liverpool 4-1 Watford

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