Man City v Watford Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 09/03/19

Man City v Watford Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

James Cormack (@jamesxyyx) previews Manchester City v Watford and provides us with his best bets for Saturday evening’s Premier League clash] by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.

  • 2019 Profit & Loss: -5.89pts

Manchester City v Watford Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

  • Date: 09/03/19
  • Time: 17:30
  • Venue: Etihad Stadium
  • Channel: BT Sport 1

Manchester City will be looking to keep the race for the title in their own hands on Saturday evening as they take on a Watford side that have won 3 of their last 4 league games.

With Liverpool not playing until Sunday (at home to Burnley), City have the chance to extend their lead at the top to 4 points. A position not many people would’ve thought they would be in about a month ago with Liverpool, at one point, holding a 7 point advantage over their title rivals.

Last week’s result at Bournemouth wasn’t fluent and was certainly gritty, it may have been a different story if Bournemouth had remembered a vital part of football, attacking. The Cherries were restricted to 18% possession and registered 0 shots at home! Nevertheless, a Riyad Mahrez second-half strike separated the two sides and put City top of the table, a position that was kept after Liverpool’s 0-0 draw in the Merseyside derby on Sunday.

I spoke in my last City preview about their potential to do the quadruple, time for a little update. 1. Carabao Cup- tick, 2. FA Cup- quarter-final tie against Championship side Swansea, United only top 6 side left, 3. Premier League- 4 point lead, Liverpool showing signs of cracking (watch any Klopp interview from Sunday onwards and Andy Robertson’s recent interview) and 4. Champions League- 3-2 advantage coming into 2nd leg at home against a side on the cusp of the relegation zone in Germany, Madrid and PSG out with potential Juventus exit, City favourites at 3/1 to go all the way.

In summary, it’s on.

The return of Fernandinho will be key to how much silverware City ends up with this season. The 33-year-old should not be overlooked when it comes to PFA Player of the Year and his performances in big games, most notably at home to Liverpool, have shown how much they will need the Brazilian in the latter stages of the Champions League and in the business end of this hectic title race.

The league leaders have no easy task by any means this weekend, however. Watford, apart from their 5-0 defeat at Anfield, come into this one in fine form, only losing once in their last five league games.

Javi Gracia has done a tremendous job with a side that I tipped for relegation (didn’t know where the goals would come from), they currently sit in 8th, level on points with Wolves in 7th and they are in a great position to achieve their highest-ever Premier League finish this season.

They certainly have the players going forward to hurt a good, but not outstanding City defence. Gerard Deulofeu has 6 goals this season with a hat-trick against Cardiff a couple of weeks ago, Roberto Pereyra has shown his ability on a few occasions this season, he also has 6 goals whilst your traditional number 9, Troy Deeney, has an impressive 8 league goals to his name.

The midfield battle will be an interesting one in this fixture. With Fernandinho out, Gundagon will likely fill in as the deepest out of the 3 CM’s and with De Bruyne a doubt, we could see Bernardo Silva fill in as a CM alongside the other Silva, a position the Portuguese star played so effectively in that 2-1 win over Liverpool a couple of months back. Therefore, you would think that it’s a mismatch when it comes to physicality, I’m taking Doucoure and Capoue all-day long. It’ll be an interesting one and the work of Will Hughes and Pererya, who usually play more advanced, will be key to stifling City through the middle, expect City to exploit the width against Gracia’s narrow 4-2-2-2.

Team News 

The home side received a boost this week with centre-back Ayermic Laporte returning to training, the Frenchman has been one of the standout defenders in the Premier League this season. However, City’s injury list has been piling up over recent weeks. Fernandinho won’t return until after the international break whilst it’s unlikely that Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones and Fabian Delph will be risked for this fixture.

The away side have no notable injuries to speak of.

Potential Man City Starting XI: Ederson, Walker, Kompany, Laporte, Zinchenko, Gundogan, B.Silva, D.Silva, Sterling, Jesus, Sane.

Potential Watford Starting XI: Foster, Janmaat, Cathcart, Mariappa, Holebas, Doucoure, Capoue, Hughes, Pereyra, Deeney, Deulofeu.

Head To Head

  • All-time: City-16, Draw-5, Watford-6.
  • Reverse fixture ended in a 2-1 for City.
  • Watford are yet to beat City in the PL era, their last win against the Manchester club coming in 1989, in a second division game.

Key Stats & Facts

  • City have won their last 5 league games, conceding just once in the process.
  • Their 2-1 defeat at Newcastle was the only time City have dropped points in 2019.
  • In City’s last four home games, they’ve had an xG of over 2.9, scoring 13 in these 4 games.
  • Their home form overshadows their form on the road, especially in front of goal, they’ve scored 50 times at the Etihad in 15 PL games and 26 in 14 PL away games.
  • 5 players have 11+ G+A’s this season: B.Silva-11, D.Silva-11, Sane-17, Sterling-21 and Aguero-24.
  • Watford have two players who have hit this mark; Deulofeu-11 and Deeney-12.
  • Watford have lost just twice in 2019- Spurs and Liverpool (A).
  • The away side have conceded the joint most out of teams in the top 10- level with West Ham with 41 conceded in 29 games.
  • Watford seem to be more effective in front of goal away from home, scoring 22 away and 19 at home (5 at Cardiff certainly helped).

Betting Odds

  • Man City 1/6
  • Draw 17/2
  • Watford 21/1

The Verdict

Despite a couple of key injuries, I like City to win this one comfortably. Their form at home has been incredible; scoring 50 at the Etihad this season at an average of 3.33 goals a game is staggering. I could certainly see City slipping a few past an ageing backline that has conceded 2 or more in all of its games against the top six this season, apart from one. I’m backing City to hit 4+ in this one at 11/8. Their record at home speaks for itself and after consecutive 1-0 wins, I’m thinking City are due for a big win on Saturday.

Another bet that looks great value is City winning both halves at 27/25, I’m backing City for a few goals in this one and they’ve distributed the times of their goals quite evenly over the course of the season, scoring 41 in the first half and 35 in the second.

Once more, I’m going to venture over to the cards market and I like the look of Etienne Capoue being carded at 16/5. The Frenchman has been booked 9 times already, the 2nd most out of the Watford squad and will be up against three technical playmakers in the middle of the park on Saturday.

Recommended Bets

  • 1pt – City to score 4+ goals- 11/8 (Sky Bet)
  • 1.5pts – City to win both halves- 27/25 (Marathon Bet)
  • 1pt – Etienne Capoue to be carded- 16/5 (Unibet)