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Manchester City v Watford – The Opposition

Blues Welcome Hornets as Title and Relegation Fights Continue

Manchester City v Watford - Premier League - Etihad Stadium Photo by Nigel French/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

Manchester City host relegation strugglers Watford to Etihad Stadium as they look to move three points closer to a second consecutive Premier League title. City got back to winning ways in midweek after failing to win three of their previous matches, and the 3-0 home victory over Brighton sent the blues back to the top of the table.

After winning promotion last season, Watford have once again struggled to make an impact in the Premier League and face the very real possibility of an instant return to the Championship. Roy Hodgson’s men are seven points from safety, but Everton, who occupy 17th spot, have a game in hand over the Hornets, and it looks like the fight for survival may go down to the last week of the season.

Form

Watford are in the midst of a dreadful run of form that, in reality has been there all season. The Hornets have won just two of their last twenty matches in the Premier League, winning at Aston Villa (1-0) in February, and recording a 2-1 win at Southampton in March. For their previous three points, you’d have to look back to November when Watford beat Manchester United 4-1 at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets have recorded just six Premier League victories this season, with four coming on the road. As well as Villa and Southampton, Watford have beaten Everton (5-2) and Norwich (3-1) on their travels, so the blues will have to be on their toes if they want the three points.

Danger Men

Emmanuel Dennis has ten goals from thirty-two games so far this season, and has attempted forty-one shots, the highest in the Watford squad. Dennis has a goal conversion rate of 24% and a shot accuracy rating of 61%. Cucho Hernández, Joshua King and Ismaïla Sarr all have five apiece. Out of the trio, King has played the most (30), but with 13%, he has the lowest goal conversion rate.

Dennis also leads the way with the assists, along with Kiko Femenía. Both have five, and out of the two, Dennis has created the most chances (15). Moussa Sissoko has created the most chances for Watford with thirty-three from thirty-two games. Sissoko has also attempted the most passes with 1,011 attempted, completing 792.

Who’s the Boss?

Former England manager Roy Hodgson became the third manager to take the Vicarage Road hot seat this season, when he took over from Claudio Ranieri in January. The former Chelsea and Leicester boss had only taken the reigns himself from Xisko Munez in October.

Hodgson has only presided over twelve matches for Watford, winning two and losing eight, giving him a win ratio of just 16%.

Last Time Out

City visited Vicarage Road in December and ran out 3-1 winners. Goals from Raheem Sterling and a brace from Bernardo Silva put the blues 3-0 to the good, with Hernandez pulling a goal back in the 74th minute.

Last time at Etihad Stadium was a different story though and one visit Watford would love to forget. The blues hammered the Hornets 8-0 as goals from David Silva (1), Sergio Aguero (7), Riyad Mahrez (12), Bernardo Silva (15) and Nicolas Otamendi (18) send the blues into a 5-0 lead. Bernardo scored twice more in the 48th and 60th minutes, while Kevin de Bruyne added the eight with five minutes remaining.