Can Liverpool Start Their New Season With A Bang?

Last updated: August 9, 2017 by Leon Marshal

Game details

. .

Kick-off: Saturday, 12:30 pm
Venue: Vicarage Road
Coverage: BT Sport
Home Form:
Away Form:
Last Meeting: Watford 0 – 1 Liverpool
Competition: English Premier League

Pre-season performances tend to be forgotten about once the Premier League gets under way, but if Liverpool’s summer dalliances are any indication, they should be set to start their Premier League campaign rather well. Convincing wins against Hertha Berlin and Bayern Munich, as well as a tightly contested draw against Atletico Madrid, sees the Reds in a strong position to wipe the floor with Watford at Vicarage Road.

The Premier League turns 25, and while Liverpool has churned out some great players in the likes of Steven Gerrard, Luis Saurez and Robbie Fowler, they have yet to lay their hands on the prestigious trophy. The closest they came was in the 2013-14 season, until Gerrard fell on his behind against Chelsea and they threw away a three nil lead against Crystal Palace. Yet, they should be confident; with the cheap-as-chips Dominic Solanke, and the now-turned-good Mohamed Salah in their ranks, their fast-paced style of play should work to blindside slower oppositions (this is all dependent on Coutinho of course – if he goes to Barcelona, they can wave their title chances goodbye). Defensively is where they might struggle. Factors that might cause a shaky kick-off are Clyne unlikely to start, Henderson still recovering from injury, and newcomer Alexander-Arnold thrown into his first huge test (not counting man-marking Franck Ribéry during the Bayern Munich game).

Watford, having just agreed an £18.5 million deal for Andre Gray, should feel more confident ahead of this match than their last two head-to-heads (one of them a 6-1 loss) during the 2016-17 season. Having scored a goal for Burnley on average every 2.28 games, he will be a great force alongside attacking options Deeney and Capoue. With Deeney injured for this match, he will have to hit the ground running, possibly playing upfront against Okaka, who struggled to find the net most of last season. Nonetheless, while one can expect Watford to do better than 17th this season, especially as Brighton and Huddersfield may find the step up in form too much for them, they will most probably have to wait until after Saturday’s contest against Liverpool to get on a foot in the table. Liverpool to win by 2 goals or more!

Team News

Liverpool have rejected a bid of over £100 million for Coutinho from Barcelona, who are still looking to up the stakes.

It looks like Cameron Brannagan is out for an entire month thanks to his latest injury.

Watford are currently eyeing Feyenoord left back Miquel Nelom.

Tottenham Hotspur fans are particularly upset that Watford have signed Gray, taking their time to complain on Twitter.

Expected Line-Ups:

Watford (4-4-2): Gomes; Janmaat, Behrami, Holebas, Kaboul; Cleverly, Watson, Capoue, Richarlison; Okaka, Gray
Subs: Pantilimon, Britos, Hughes, Chalobah, Stewart, Femenia, Amrabat
Injured: Deeney, Zarate
Doubtful: Kabasele, Cathcart
Not available:
Liverpool (4-3-3): Mignolet;Alexander-Arnold, Moreno, Matip, Sakho; Coutinho, Henderson, Can; Mané, Firmino, Salah
Subs: Karius, Klavan, Gomez, Milner, Kent, Solanke, Sturridge
Injured: Lallana, Brannagan, Bogdan
Doubtful: Clyne, Ings
Not available:

Stats From Last Season

. . .
Watford Last Season Liverpool Last Season
17th League Position 4th
11(3) Wins (away) 22 (10)
4-2 vs. West Ham Biggest Win 6 – 1 vs Watford
15 (5) Draws (away) 10 (5)
1-6 vs Liverpool Biggest Defeat 1-3 vs. Leicester
Deeney (10) Top Goal Scorer Coutinho (13)
Y84, R5 Discipline Y54, R0
8 Failures to Score 5
7 Clean Sheets 12
47% Both Teams to Score Games 63%
47% Over 2.5 Goals 61%
53% Under 2.5 Goals 39%
  • Troy Deeney was one of Watford’s best players last season. Odds of 7/2 for him to score first.
  • Salah has been pretty sensational for Liverpool in pre-season. Odds of 13/10 for him to score anytime.
  • Gray is untested yet for Watford so there are great odds of 9/1 for him to score last.
  • Watford were awarded 5 red cards last season. They are odds of 4/1 to get a red card in the match.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
01/05/2017 English Premier League Watford 0 – 1 Liverpool Can 45′
06/11/2016 English Premier League Liverpool 6 – 1 Watford Mané 27′
08/05/2016 English Premier League Liverpool 2 – 0 Watford Allen 35′
20/12/2015 English Premier League Watford 3 – 0 Liverpool Aké 3
13/01/2007 English Premier League Watford 0 – 3 Liverpool Bellamy 34′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Liverpool are the clear favourites to win this game, with odds of 4/7 for them to win the game at Betway. Conversely, Watford’s odds of winning are at 19/4. Additionally, if you really want to play it safe, the double chance odds of Liverpool to win are at 1/7. We don’t think that this represents particularly great value. Given that 63% of Liverpool’s games end in both teams scoring, a great option is betting on Liverpool to win and both teams to score at brilliant odds at 23/10. On the other hand, if you are feeling particularly risky, I would recommend the opposite option, with a surprise Watford win and both teams to score at a whopping 9/1.

Another great thing to try and bet on is the scorecast markets. For example, if you bet on Salah, who has been playing especially well recently, to score first and Liverpool to win 2-1, then you will be offered huge odds of 125-1 at Paddy Power. This may be fanciful thinking. As I have stressed before, a very safe bet is to bet on Liverpool to win and to score over 2.5 goals at brilliant odds of 27/20. Additionally, we can also see a safe bet in Liverpool to win both halves at great odds of 29/20. Therefore, don’t just look for Liverpool to win, but Liverpool to win and something else to happen in order to find the best possible value!

Best Betting Tip:

Liverpool to win and score over 2.5 goals @ 27/20.