This match will be the second of the 2017/18 Premier League season as Watford welcome Liverpool to Vicarage Road.
The first thing to note in the build up to this match is the fantastic record the Reds enjoy over the Hornets, especially in the Premier League. Liverpool have tasted defeat in only one of the last six meetings between the teams in the Premier League and that came back in December 2015.
Since then, Liverpool have won all three league games against Watford and won both matches last season, recording a 7-2 aggregate overall.
In the same fixture last season, Emre Can scored one of the goals of the season as Liverpool won the match 1-0. It was a scrappy game, which Liverpool edged but the result could have been much different if Sebastian Prodl’s late effort had gone in and not hit the crossbar.
However, this is a new season meaning both teams will be starting the match full of optimism for what lies ahead. Watford’s main aim will surely to be to avoid relegation, with anything else coming as a bonus. Liverpool have much grander ambitions and will be aiming to challenge for the Premier League title this season.
Looking at the team news and Liverpool are set to start the match without Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge. The former is out for three months but Sturridge may be back in time for next week. There are also doubts over Philippe Coutinho, Jordan Henderson and Nathaniel Clyne.
With Coutinho unlikely to start the match, this could see a front three of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah. This is a formidable attacking trio, even without Coutinho. It should cause the Watford defence plenty of problems, especially with the pace of the two wide men operating off Firmino from a central position.
If Henderson is fit, the Liverpool captain will join Emre Can and Georginio Wijnaldum in central midfield. Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip will start in central defence and the impressive Trent Alexander-Arnold will play at right-back if Clyne fails to recover.
A good preseason for Alberto Moreno could see the Spaniard get another chance at left-back and Simon Mignolet will start in goal.
It’s no secret Liverpool struggle against some of the teams in the lower half of the Premier League, a position Watford are expected to finish this season. However, as this is the first game of the new season, it is unlikely Watford are going to sit back for a point in-front of their own fans.
The Hornets have several new signings who will come into the team for this game, many of which have had very little time to settle in with their new team mates. Club record signing Andre Gray is expected to start in attack, even though he only joined the club in the past few days. Troy Deeney is doubtful with a groin strain.
Richarlison, Will Hughes and Nathaniel Chalobah are also expected to make their competitive debuts for the home side, meaning they could have a slightly disjointed team.
This would play right into Liverpool’s hands, who would like nothing more than having a newly assembled group of players trying to attack them, leaving space for the counter-attack. This is the perfect match for Liverpool to quickly distinguish the tag of being unable to defeat the so called ‘lesser teams’ in the Premier League.
Even without Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool should win this game, scoring a few goals in the process and start the Premier League campaign on a high.
Watch Jurgen Klopp’s Pre-Watford Press Conference Below.