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Watford vs Liverpool: Premier League match preview, likely line-ups and score prediction




Liverpool will return to the site of Emre Can’s wondergoal last season to begin their 2017/18 Premier League campaign as Marco Silva hopes to begin his time at Watford with a win. Both sides could be without some key players through injury but will be hoping to get by without them with a good start to the season.

Recent form

Watford have enjoyed a strong pre-season as they kept four clean sheets in their last four friendlies against tough opposition. Two disappointing results, a draw against non-league Woking and a loss to League One AFC Wimbledon, were followed up by 1-0 wins over Viktoria Plzen and SD Eibar before consecutive 0-0 draws against Aston Villa and Real Sociedad.

Liverpool went one better and avoided defeat in 90 minutes throughout pre-season, with their only loss coming on penalties to Atletico Madrid in the Audi Cup. Impressive victories over Athletic Bilbao and Bayern Munich have given plenty of reasons for optimism for Reds’ fans going into the season.

Likely line-ups

Nathaniel Chalobah is set for a second debut in midfield but a number of new signings, including strike duo Andre Gray and Richarlison, are not expected to start in the line-up given their recent arrivals.

The toughest decision for Jurgen Klopp may come at left-back, with James Milner likely to get the nod ahead of Andy Robertson and Alberto Moreno, who has impressed in pre-season. Emre Can’s lack of game time will likely see him start on the bench whilst Philippe Coutinho will hope to be fit.

Team news

Troy Deeney has returned to training after a groin injury but is still building fitness and is unlikely to feature. Mauro Zarate’s long term knee injury is expected to keep him sidelined until later this month.

Philippe Coutinho is the most high profile doubt with a back injury which saw him miss the end of pre-season. Daniel Sturridge is also a doubt with a hamstring strain and Joe Gomez is in a similar position over a knock to his knee. A back problem looks set to keep Nathaniel Clyne out of action whilst Adam Lallana’s thigh issue will keep him out until November.

Match prediction: Watford 0-2 Liverpool

Watford are beginning to put things in place for what could be a strong side, but it’s still the early stages of Marco Silva’s reign. Jurgen Klopp’s side should have the quality, particularly in attack, to earn the win.

Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

English Premier League

Andrew Robertson the most important Liverpool summer signing

The Scottish left-back has plugged a gap that has existed at Liverpool for some time.



Mohamed Salah rightly received all the praise yesterday, after Liverpool put Watford to the sword in the Premier League.

Liverpool beat the Hornets 5-0 at Anfield, with the Egyptian scoring four of the goals.

It is hard to argue with Salah being the club’s best signing in the summer. His tally of 37 goals in 43 games certainly highlights that fact. 

However, the most important signing might have been that of Andrew Robertson.

The Scottish left-back joined from Hull City in a deal, reported by the Independent, to be worth around £8 million. That price-tag is now looking an absolute bargain.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Liverpool have had problems at left-back for a number of seasons.

Alberto Moreno looked like being the solution. However, the Spaniard’s defensive work and decision making made him a liability.

Jon Flanagan, who was Brendan Rodgers’ regular left-back, has not reached similar heights since a series of knee injuries decimated his promising career.

Last season saw James Milner fill the role. The experienced midfielder played well out of position but long-term, was not the solution.

Now, Liverpool have Robertson. The Scotland international has made the step up from his time at Hull with ease.

The 24-year-old Glaswegian is not only a threat going forward, but defensively he is exceptional.

His delivery into the box is undoubtedly exemplary, but he is equally adept at stopping opposing players from getting near Liverpool’s.

Liverpool have managed to bring in a player perfectly suited to Jurgen Klopp’s style of play.

Heavy-metal is the way Robertson plays in both attack and defence and the fans at Anfield already love him.

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

At just £8 million and only 24-years-old Liverpool picked up the bargain of the summer in the Premier League.

If Robertson can continue to progress and play with the same level of consistency he already has, then a decade of dominance at left-back could follow as Liverpool’s left-back.

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Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah within touching distance of all-time Premier League goal-scoring record

The Egyptian international has 28 Premier League goals this term.



Photo: Getty Images

Anfield witnessed a truly special moment in the second half of Liverpool’s 5-0 thrashing of Watford on Saturday. Winning 3-0, Liverpool were running riot in wintry conditions, and Mohamed Salah collected the ball just inside the box on a hat-trick.

What followed was absolute magic, emblematic of a dream debut season in the north-west for the Egyptian. Salah was mobbed by three defenders, but left all three in the dust with one deft cut-back.

Then, with two more Watford players crashing in on the ball, Salah remarkably managed to poke an improvised finish into the far corner past the helpless Orestis Karnezis.

As Salah wheeled away in celebration, tongue stuck out and arms extended, Anfield reveled in history in the making. That goal marked Salah’s 27th of the Premier League season and he would go on to score his 28th just eight minutes later.

(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

The Egyptian is on course to smash the Premier League scoring records in emphatic fashion. The current record is 31 goals, a tally achieved by Alan Shearer in 1995/96, Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007/08, and fellow Red Luis Suarez in 2013/14.

With seven matches remaining, including fixtures against the likes of West Brom and Stoke, few would bet against Salah demolishing the 22-year-old record.

The achievement would place Salah in the illustrious company of Premier League legends, an incredible feat for a player who many in England wrote off during his short spell at Chelsea.

Thanks to Salah, Liverpool have barely missed a step after the departure of Philippe Coutinho in January, advancing to the Champions League quarterfinals and cementing their top-four position.

The prolific winger is proving all of his doubters wrong in audacious fashion, and with a Premier League Golden Boot and goal-scoring record seemingly on the way, he is one of the most in-form players in the world.

The early-April European clash with Manchester City will provide Salah with, perhaps, his biggest stage yet. Expect the top goalscorer in England to rise to the occasion.

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Jugen Klopp wanted him in 2016, Filip Kostic set for cut-price exit

The Serbian is set to be relegated with Hamburg.



In the summer of 2016 Liverpool were being linked with the signature of Serbian winger Filip Kostic. The Independent reported that Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur, had both watched the player, but had missed out. Hamburg instead signed Kostic from Bundesliga rivals Stuttgart for £12 million.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp would have known all about Kostic through his Bundesliga links and seeing him move elsewhere would have been frustrating. But, nearly two years on from Kostic’s Hamburg move, Liverpool may feel they dodged a bullet.

Hamburg’s Serbian midfielder Filip Kostic (L) celebrates scoring the 1-0 with Hamburg’s defender Matthias Ostrzolek during the German first division Bundesliga football match between TSG Hoffenheim and Hamburg SV in Sinsheim, southern Germany, on November 20, 2016. / AFP / DANIEL ROLAND / RESTRICTIONS: DURING MATCH TIME: DFL RULES TO LIMIT THE ONLINE USAGE TO 15 PICTURES PER MATCH AND FORBID IMAGE SEQUENCES TO SIMULATE VIDEO. == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE == FOR FURTHER QUERIES PLEASE CONTACT DFL DIRECTLY AT + 49 69 650050 (Photo credit should read DANIEL ROLAND/AFP/Getty Images)

This summer, if Liverpool still wanted Kostic, they could get him cheap. The reason why? His performances have not lived up to his ability since the Hamburg move. Now, the Bundesliga side look doomed to relegation. The result will be a firesale in the summer, as HSV look to meet financial demands. Kostic, being one of the most valuable players and highest-earners at the club, will be available.

Based on his form for Hamburg, Liverpool would be unlikely to take an interest in the player.

But, rather than dodging a bullet, perhaps this situation could work out perfectly for Klopp and Liverpool.

Whilst Kostic has had a rough time at Hamburg, a lot of that is down to the running of the club.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MARCH 10: Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool looks on prior to the Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 10, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

For the Serbian national team the 25-year-old has still been in good form and Liverpool might just be able to bring Kostic in at a cut-price.

With the World Cup coming up this summer, Kostic will look to shine. A deal for Liverpool before then may prove to be a masterstroke.

Liverpool can look at Kostic in two ways. One, a transfer failure they should be happy with. Two, an opportunity for a bargain this summer.

Either way Klopp and Liverpool cannot really lose.

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