Football Previews

Liverpool vs Watford preview, predictions & possible XIs

By CJ Smith

Published: 14:44, 12 December 2019

Liverpool’s title charge continues when they host Watford at Anfield in Nigel Pearson’s first game in charge of the Hornets.

The Reds have won 15 of their opening 16 Premier League games to take a commanding eight-point lead at the top of the table and look absolutely unstoppable right now.

Things couldn’t be much worse for Watford, with the Hornets stranded at the bottom of the table having won just one of their opening 16 games, while they’re the only team in the Premier League yet to register double figures for goals scored.

Will Jurgen Klopp’s men swat the struggling Hornets aside or will Watford give unlikely hope to the chasing pack at Anfield?

Read on for our preview, predictions, team news, TV coverage information and more.

When is Liverpool vs Watford and where can I watch live?

Competition: Premier League

Venue: Anfield

Date: Saturday, 14 December 2019

Kick-off: 12:30 PM (UK time)

TV coverage (UK): BT Sport 1

Last five meetings: Liverpool vs Watford

27 Feb 2019Liverpool 5-0 Watford (Premier League)

24 Nov 2018Watford 0-3 Liverpool (Premier League)

17 Mar 2018Liverpool 5-0 Watford (Premier League)

12 Aug 2017Watford 3-3 Liverpool (Premier League)

01 May 2017Watford 0-1 Liverpool (Premier League)

Aggregate Score: Liverpool (WWWDW) 17-3 Watford (LLLDL)

Ones to watch

Liverpool: Joe Gomez

Every time Joe Gomez has hit form and started to look like the top-class centre-back we all know he can be, injury has struck and scuppered his chances of becoming a long-term partner for Virgil van Dijk.

This season, the England international has started just two Premier League games but with Joel Matip still out and Dejan Lovren picking up a thigh injury during the week, Gomez once again has the chance to lock down his place.

Watford are likely to start Troy Deeney, which will certainly make for an interesting physical test for Gomez.

Key stat: Gomez has made more interceptions per 90 minutes (1.83) in the Premier League this season than any other Liverpool player.

Watford: Troy Deeney

As mentioned, Deeney is likely to start for the Hornets and, my word, they need him.

Watford are the Premier League’s lowest scorers and have become a complete soft touch up front. Deeney’s unique brand of strength and power coupled with an underrated ability to use the ball should give them far more options in the final third.

Don’t be surprised to see him target Gomez in an effort to catch the youngster cold.

Key stat: Deeney has won 6.45 aerial duels per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season — more than any other Watford player.

Team news


Matip and Lovren are both sidelined for this one, meaning Gomez will slot in alongside Van Dijk.

Adam Lallana has an outside chance of making the matchday squad but right-back Nathanial Clyne remains sidelined for the foreseeable future with torn knee ligaments.

Predicted XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Mane, Firmino.​

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Jose Holebas, Sebastian Prodl, Danny Welbeck, and Tom Cleverley are all still recovering from injury, leaving Pearson with a number of selection headaches for his first game in charge. Defenders Daryl Janmaat and Craig Dawson also face late fitness tests.

Predicted XI: Foster; Femenia, Kabasele, Cathcart, Masina; Capoue, Doucoure; Sarr, Pereyra, Deulofeu; Deeney.

Squawka prediction

As with Everton last week, and countless other sides over the years, the supposed “new manager bounce” can often save a club in danger.

However, sitting bottom of the league and travelling to runaway leaders Liverpool, it’s hard to see that being the case here for Pearson and Watford.

The former Leicester boss will likely use this as a chance to learn about the character of some of his players before heading out of Anfield as quickly as possible.

Scoreline prediction: Liverpool 3-0 Watford