On Saturday, Manchester City will face Watford in the Premier League, a game which marks yet another milestone in City history. The weekend’s game is being used to commemorate 125 years of the club, as September marks the first ever league game and league win back in 1894.
The Champions will be looking to avoid back to back defeats for the first time since December after suffering their first defeat in eight months at Norwich last weekend. The blues responded with a classy 3-0 win away in Ukraine on Wednesday, in the opening game of the Champions League group stage and will be looking for a repeat against the Hornets.
Pep Guardiola, thankfully, has no more players sidelined through injury, with the only absentees being Leroy Sane, Aymeric Laporte and John Stones, with the latter out for at least a month. Phil Foden, who missed out on the trip to Ukraine due to illness, could return to the match day squad for the game. Both Joao Cancelo and Benjamin Mendy could be in line for their first starts of the season, whilst Watford will be without both Craig Cathcart and Issac Successes as well as club captain Troy Deeney, who remains out due to a knee injury.
Head to Head
Manchester City haven’t lost to Watford since 1989 and have won all eight games since the Hornets return to the top flight in 2015 with an aggregate score of 25-3. In total there have been 29 meetings between the two sides with City winning 18 times, drawing five and losing on just six occasions. The Blues have scored 65 goals in those times, averaging two goals a game.
The in-form Sergio Aguero has 10 goals against Watford, including two hat-tricks and Raheem Sterling meanwhile has eight goals, having bagged three goals the last time the two sides met at the Etihad.
Manchester City last met Watford back at Wembley in May for the FA CUP final where an emphatic 6-0 win saw the Blues complete the domestic treble. Pep Guardiola when asked about the fixture however said “Now it’s totally different, it’s the beginning of the season and they have changed their manager.”
Manchester City go into the game five points behind Liverpool in the Premier League with three wins from their last five fixtures. Watford remain winless in the league this season and sit bottom of the table with three defeats and two draws in their last five games. They are though, under new management with Quique Sánchez Flores undertaking his second term in charge of the London based club. Watford come in to the game with their tails up after an inspiring second half performance that Pep described as “incredible” to rescue a point last weekend against Arsenal.
After 125 years and 5410 games of football tomorrow’s game is guaranteed to be a landmark event. Mike Dean has taken charge of 1.07% of these fixtures and tomorrow will be his 59th Manchester City game. He will be joined by assistants Ian Hussin and Dan Robathan and Craig Pawson will be the VAR.
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