After a disaster match against Leicester City last weekend, Manchester City are now on a streak of truly disappointing form, winning only four of their last 15 matches in all competitions. Watford have never beaten the Sky Blues, but their fortune may change if they capitalize against a weak Citizens defense.
Here are a few players from both sides who could impact the match on Wednesday night at Etihad Stadium.
Club Captain Troy Deeney lifted Watford into the Premier League in 2015 and helped the club stay comfortably afloat last season thanks to his attacking contributions. However, this season he has only scored three times through 14 games, and the strike force which carried the Hornets last year has not yet performed at its peak.
The English striker will be looking to return to regular form in a match against a weak City defense that only achieved two Premier League clean sheets so far. Jamie Vardy managed to break his scoreless streak with a hat-trick last Saturday, so don’t count Deeney out.
Kevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne received hype across the league as one of the Premier League’s best midfielders, and he has lived up to the expectations this season with his league-leading eight assists. However, De Bruyne is not as effective without his main partner, Sergio Agüero.
Other than the game against United earlier this year, the Belgian struggles to perform without the Argentine striker. This shone through in Saturday’s match, as neither Kelechi Iheanacho nor De Bruyne impressed. Kevin must provide City with goal scoring chances like usual to earn the three points against Watford.
The Brazilian goalkeeper helped Watford start on a streak of good form this season, but has since disappointed. The Hornets have not managed a clean sheet since October, and performances against Liverpool (a 6-1 loss) and Stoke City (a 1-0 loss thanks to a Gomes own goal) have summed up the last month’s struggles at the back.
However, Watford have won two of their past three games, which have featured plenty of saves from their experienced keeper. Gomes will want to step up and face the City attack with confidence to stop their shots.
After a very impressive performance as a substitute against Leicester, Nolito put himself in the mix for a starting spot in the attack. Jesús Navas had a sitter on the wing, and Raheem Sterling is still lacking fitness while recovering from a knee injury; this leaves the former Celta Vigo star with a very good chance at a spot in the starting 11.
The Spanish winger only trails Agüero for City goals in the Premier League this season with four. Do not be surprised to see Nolito on the scoresheet if Pep gives him the spot from the start.