After a bright start to the season Watford’s season has hit a rocky patch and will be looking to avoid a third consecutive league loss when they welcome Manchester City. The Champions on the other hand are in supreme form and still without a loss so far this season. Form Labs previews the clash with their betting tips and don’t forget to take advantage of our selection of enhanced odds for the midweek Premier League games.
Man City Dominant Over Watford
Pep Guardiola has won all four of his encounters with Watford by an aggregate score of 16-1, including 5-0 and 6-0 victories on the road, and with City’s current output in the final third, another big win looks on the cards. The visitors have now won 13 of 15 unbeaten games across all competitions since they last tasted defeat, winning by at least two clear goals in 11 of these, as they’ve averaged four goals per game across their last six.
Watford’s Form Has Slipped
The Hornets have just three clean sheets from 14 league matches this term, against Brighton, Huddersfield and Wolves, with their only victories in their last 10 coming against the latter two sides. They’re currently on a run of three defeats from four winless matches, with the stalemate coming at 18th-placed Southampton, as they’ve lost 3-0 and 2-0 to Liverpool and Leicester respectively in their most recent outings.
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In fact, since an early season victory over Spurs, who appeared jaded in the aftermath of a draining World Cup for many of their stars, Watford have lost each of their five encounters with current top half sides. Their opponents won by at least two clear goals in each of the last four of these, including a 4-0 defeat hosting Bournemouth, and so this should finally be the week Javi Gracia’s side slip into the bottom half of the table.
Indeed, the Hornets have a further problem to contend with as Etienne Capoue was given his marching orders in the dying stages against Leicester. Since start of last season, Watford have scored 1.07 goals per game and conceded 1.47 when Capoue has started, compared with netting 1.32 and shipping 1.77 without him. Given they’ve have conceded five goals across their last two with him, we would hate to think what could be the case against runaway leaders City without him.
Watford v Manchester City Betting Tips
The hosts have lost 24 of 26 winless encounters with top-four sides since their promotion ahead of the 2015/16 season, including all six versus City. They’ve even lost seven of their last eight encounters with ‘Big Six’ sides, shipping 19 goals and failing to score in six, and City represent the hardest test of all. Excluding their fixtures with their fellow top-six teams, the reigning champions have won by at least two goals in each of their last eight matches, while stretching back into last season they’ve done so in 18 of their last 23 such games.
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*odds subject to change.