Manchester City vs Watford Preview: Citizens look to start 2018 with a return to winning form against hobbling Hornets

Manchester City vs Watford Preview: Citizens look to start 2018 with a return to winning form against hobbling Hornets

Manchester City will look to continue their dominance at the top of the Premier League with the visit of Marco Silva's Watford.

Danial Kennedy

Manchester City will want to return to winning ways, as they welcome struggling Watford to The Etihad Stadium. 

Looking to quickly get back to winning ways 

It has already been quite the season for Pep Guardiola's side having fired on all cylinder's in all competitions, but especially in the Premier League where they currently hold a 12-point gap over Manchester United following their 2-0 win over Everton. 

Such has been their dominance they have toppled numerous records and headed into the clash with Crystal Palace on New Year's Eve looking to match Bayern Munich's European record of 19 consecutive league wins, but were lucky to even see their unbeaten record maintained only by Ederson's late penalty save to preserve a 0-0 draw. 

Guardiola will be very eager to get back to winning ways in City's first match of the new year, and will feel confident considering Watford's recent form and having already handed out a 6-0 drubbing to The Hornets earlier in the season. 

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Trying to replicate the honeymoon period 

Marco Silva's young tenure at Vicarage Road has already proven to be quite the roller-coaster, but in the recent weeks there have been more dips than inclines and Silva will be eager to try and turn the tide in the new year. 

Silva's excellent start to life in the capital caught the interest of Everton who were at the time looking to replace Ronald Koeman, seems more than a coincidence that their poor form began around the same time of Silva's unknown future and where Everton's form has improved since Sam Allardyce's arrival Silva has failed to recapture what made them so interested initially. 

Since their masterclass at St James' Park they have managed to one other victory in the following nine matches, arguably the worst result came when a struggling Swansea City visited on Saturday and a late goal from Luciano Narsingh gave Carlos Carvalhal a vital 2-1 win in his first match in charge. 

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Team news 

The draw at Selhurst Park brought about to significant absentees for Guardiola, as Gabriel Jesus suffered a medial collateral ligament injury early on before Kevin De Bruyne was stretchered off late on after a heavy tackle from Jason Puncheon. David Silva is also expected to be a continued absentee for personal reasons, but the trio of Vincent Kompany, Fabian Delph and John Stones could yet return for City. 

Silva will have an unchanged squad to pick from ahead of the trip to the North West but still is without captain Troy Deeney who is serving the last of his four game ban, Kiko Femenia, Will Hughes (both hamstring), Younes Kaboul (foot), Miguel Britos (ankle), Craig Cathcart, Nathaniel Chalobah and Isaac Success (all knee) are all still out injured.

Manchester City will host Watford at The Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, January 2 with kick-off at 8pm GMT.