Following a fantastic European performance away at Feyenoord, Manchester City return to Premier League action with a tough trip to Watford FC awaiting. This looks easy on paper, but it’ll be anything but simple.
Although City won both meetings against Watford last season and thrashed them 5-0 the last time these two faced at Vicarage Road, that was a very different Hornets team. Watford were managed by Walter Mazzarri at the time, and the Italian did a poor job that made his team weak at the end of the season, and they were picked apart by the Blues in the last day of the campaign.
Under Marco Silva Watford look rejuvenated and stronger, and they’re currently unbeaten and sit in four place with two wins in four matches. They haven’t won at home, however, so that’s a plus for City.
The Hornets will be very organized defensively and have plenty of pace and skill up front to hurt the Blues this Saturday, so this will not be a walk in the park for Pep’s men. They’re favorites, sure, but they’ll have to work hard to get three points.
MATCH INFO, TV/STREAMING
Date/Time: Saturday, September 16, 2017, 3pm BST (UK & Nigeria), 10am ET, 7am PT (USA), 7:30pm IST (India)
Venue: Vicarage Road, Watford, England
Television: Not Televised (UK), NBCSN (USA), SuperSport 5 (Nigeria), Sportsnet World (Canada), Hotstar (India)
(Listings via LiveSoccerTV)
The squad is looking very good in terms of health, with no players sidelined due to injury ahead of Watford. Captain Vincent Kompany returned to training this week but is unlikely to start against the Hornets, though he could be on the bench at least. Ilkay Gundogan has been on the bench for the last few matches, but there’s a small chance he actually plays against Watford with his first start of the season likely to come in the League Cup match against West Brom on Wednesday.
As for the starting lineup, Pep Guardiola could revert back to the 3-5-2 and use the same eleven players that started against Liverpool, which means Danilo would start at center-back again. There could be some rotation after the Feyenoord match with Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sané in contention to start if Pep decides to rest anyone, but he’ll rest pretty much all of his starts against West Brom so we could see his strongest lineup facing Watford.
Manchester City (3-5-2)
Éderson; Danilo, Stones, Otamendi; Walker, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva, Mendy; Agüero, G.Jesus
Gomes; Femenía, Mariappa, Kabasele, Holebas; Doucouré, Chalobah; Amrabat, Cleverley, Richarlison; Gray
Watford are a very tough team, but they’ll get the victory and stay unbeaten: 3-1 to the Blues.