After the monotony of the international break, it’s time to get back to watching Liverpool every week.
In our first game back, the Reds take on a Watford side that have largely struggled for points since their impressive four wins from four games at the start of the season.
Regardless, some of Liverpool’s toughest games in this campaign have been away fixtures against smaller clubs such as Crystal Palace and Huddersfield Town, so there’s no reason to think the Hornets will make life easy at Vicerage Road.
Watford Team News and Predicted Lineup
Javi Gracia benefited from the international break as very few of his players were called away, and many of those who remained at the club have now either returned from injury or suspension during the elapsed time.
Etienne Capoue has served his ban, and the likes of Tom Cleverley, Will Hughes, and Sebastian Prodl have recovered well from their respective injuries.
Nathaniel Chalobah could be retained ahead of Capoue however given the former’s excellent recent performances. Isacc Success and Roberto Pereyra arrived back late from their international games and could be rested for the likes of Troy Deeney and Andre Gray.
Liverpool Team News and Predicted Lineup
Jurgen Klopp didn’t have the luxury of getting to train with the majority of his squad for two, uninterrupted weeks. Quite the opposite was true for the German, but despite this, Liverpool have a nearly full squad to choose from.
Jordan Henderson has returned from a hamstring injury and could possibly start ahead of Fabinho. Naby Keita has also recovered from injury, but unlike Hendo, he was forced to travel with his national side, which could see his Liverpool return delayed.
Xherdan Shaqiri is always an option now as well, but further changes would likely happen at the back, if Klopp elects to rotate at all. Alberto Moreno could come in for Andy Robertson after he played two full games for Scotland. Dejan Lovren could come back into the side as well.
One of the great unknowns in this game will be whether Klopp decides to utilise a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3. In the past few weeks, I’ve been very vocal in my assertion that Klopp should use the former far more often than he currently is because it allows Shaq to play and the results have been telling.
However, in this game Klopp should, and probably will, stick with the 4-3-3 simply because Watford play very narrow and overload the midfield. Pereyra in particular is a threat on the right, although he often drifts inside and occupies the half-spaces created by Deulofeu.
Mo Salah has a tremendous goal-scoring record against Watford, and all fans will be hoping to see that trend continue. All of the attackers need to step up though so that the defence doesn’t have to work as hard to secure the result, as we’ve seen in previous away games.
Watford’s form isn’t brilliant, but the fact that they sit in seventh place ahead of the likes of Manchester United, Everton, and Leicester, is telling. They won’t roll over, and any result will have to be well and truly earned.
Liverpool’s form this season at both ends of the pitch is exemplary though, and the back-line in particular have been impressive. Another clean sheet and a couple of goals should be very achievable.
A win is needed and will come after Liverpool maintain a first-half lead. The Reds will head home as 2-0 winners.
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Red Or Dead Liverpool FC Football Blog – 24/11/2018