Manchester City vs Watford Preview: City looking to bounce back as Hornets search for two wins in two

Manchester City vs Watford Preview: City looking to bounce back as Hornets search for two wins in two

Watford face one of their toughest Premier League opponents so far this season as they travel to a Manchester City that has lost its last two games to Chelsea and Leicester City.

Billy Stephenson

Watford travel to the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday to face fourth-placed Manchester City with both sides looking for a valuable victory.

Watford come into the game off the back of a superb 3-2 home win against Everton in front of the Sky cameras, which saw summer signing Stefano Okaka grab his first two Watford goals.

But Pep Guardiola’s men will be looking to bounce back, having sustained heavy defeats to league leaders Chelsea and reigning champions Leicester City over the last two weeks.

Manchester City looking to turn a corner

City started the season off excellently,going undefeated in their first six league games with a big win included in that over their rivals Manchester United.

However, now they have only picked up maximum points twice in their last five games.

Still sitting fourth in the league and three points ahead of the Europa League spots, it would be a major surprise were they to miss out on the top-four - and they'll look to re-assert their title credentials here against Watford.

Watford getting back on form

The Hornets, however, won't be easy pickings. They fought long and hard for a 3-2 victory against Everton which saw them move up to seventh in the league.

They are just six points away from that all-important Europa League spot, and that is a product of their hard work and excellent football thus far.

They will look to maintain their form off the back of that win over Everton, after suffering defeats to Stoke and West Bromwich Albion in the games before that.

Last time the teams met

The last time the two teams met was in the New Year as Man city took all three points.

Watford took the lead in the 55th minute with a Ben Watson goal, but it was not enough to see Watford pick up maximum points on the day. Two late goals from Yaya Tourè and Sergio Aguero saw Man City clinch the win.

Watford last beat Manchester City with a 1-0 victory back in 1989 when the second-tier was known as Division Two.

Team news

Roberto Pereyra appears likely to return to the squad after serving a one-match ban. Defender Craig Cathcart is expected to be sidelined as he is still struggling with a hernia injury.

Younes Kaboul's involvement is subject a late fitness test after suffering with a calf strain. Valon Behrami could also be out of action with illness. The midfielder was sick on the pitch at half-time in the Everton game.

Man City have just one injury problem. Centre-back Vincent Kompany is out until the New Year with a knee ligament injury. However, their big losses come in the form of star striker Aguero and Fernandinho - who will also be missing this game due to suspensions both picked up in the loss to Chelsea.

Predicted starting XIs

Manchester City predicted line-up: Bravo, Sagna, Stones, Kolarov, Fernando, Zabaleta, Gündogan, Silva, Jesùs Navas, Iheanacho, De Bruyne.

Watford predicted line-up: Gomes, Zuniga, Prödl, Britos, Holebas, Guédioura, Watson, Capoue, Amrabat, Deeney, Okaka.