Saturday’s Premier League action concludes at Vicarage Road as 17th-placed Watford take on title challengers Manchester City.
Watford’s recent showings suggest Man City could have a field day here, with Claudio Ranieri’s side losing six of their last eight Premier League matches.
The Hornets have to pull a rabbit out of the hat, but it feels like they don’t have a hat right now.
To their credit, they’ve at least managed to keep their recent defeats competitive, succumbing to a one-goal margin in three of their last four league losses.
Ranieri will hope his players could muster up the performance that saw them dismantle Manchester United 4-1 at this stadium a fortnight ago.
With all due respect to the Red Devils, the Cityzens have been a different kind of beast this season, as they take the field on a run of four consecutive Premier League wins.
Pep Guardiola’s men edged past Aston Villa 2-1 on the road last time out to take their winning league streak on the road to three consecutive games.
With league-toppers Liverpool within a one-point distance, Man City will be hoping to move to the Premier League summit if the result at Wolverhampton goes their way.
Watford vs Manchester City Head-to-Head
The overall Premier League H2H record is firmly on Man City’s side here, with the Cityzens going unbeaten in all 12 meetings with Watford in the competition (W10, D2).
A run of ten consecutive league defeats to City by an aggregate score of 37-4 sums up the Hornets’ underdog status in a nutshell.
Including other competitions, the reigning Premier League champions are unbeaten in their last 18 encounters against Watford (W16, D2), netting 3.27 goals per game on average in that period.
Any hopes of staging what would be one of the upsets of the season look far-fetched, with Watford lamenting the all-time Premier League worst 73% loss ratio against reigning champions.
The Hornets have yet to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League this season, conceding a total of 26 goals across their opening 14 top-flight outings.
But since they could beat both Manchester clubs in a single top-flight campaign for the first time since 1986/87, Watford won’t be lacking motivation.
Emmanuel Dennis is a man possessed, having found the net in his last three Premier League appearances. He aims to become only the fourth Hornets player to score in four successive games in the competition.
With his goals coming against the likes of Man United, Leicester City and Chelsea, Ruben Dias and co can ill-afford to take the Nigerian lightly.
Manchester City Preview
Man City have hit a purple patch since a shock 2-0 home loss to Crystal Palace in late October, stringing together four straight Premier League wins by an aggregate score of 9-2 in the aftermath.
December tends to be an enjoyable month for the Etihad Stadium faithful, with the Cityzens going unbeaten in their last ten competitive fixtures played in this month (W7, D3).
Remarkably, since Guardiola arrived at the helm in 2016, Man City have racked up more Premier League away wins (72) and won more top-flight points on the road (227) than any other side in the competition.
The Spaniard has made light work of his meetings with Watford as a manager, having won all nine across various competitions by an aggregate score of 39-3.
For those eagerly anticipating the new Fantasy Premier League matchday, Raheem Sterling could be a wise pick, a virtue of his jaw-dropping exploits against Watford.
The English forward has been nothing short of electric against Watford, clocking up ten goals and two assists in just eight competitive appearances against them.
Watford vs Manchester City Predicted Line-ups
Watford (4-4-1-1): Daniel Bachmann; Jeremy Ngakia, William Troost-Ekong, Craig Cathcart, Danny Rose; Juraj Kucka; Moussa Sissoko, Tom Cleverley, Joao Pedro; Emmanuel Dennis; Joshua King.
Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson; Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Bernardo Silva, Rodri, Phil Foden; Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish.
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