Watford vs Liverpool Preview: Views From Both Camps, Team News, Predicted Lineups, and Ones to Watch
Ismaila Sarr  celebrates after scoring during the Premier League match between Watford and Newcastle United via Federico Maranesi-Getty Images

Claudio Ranieri will take charge of Watford for the first time when he welcomes Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool to Vicarage Road on Saturday in the Premier League.

Watford return to action after the international break following a narrow 1-0 loss away at Leeds United before the break. That proved to be Xisco Munoz’ last game in charge of Watford as he was replaced by former Leicester City and Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri during the international break. Watford is winless in the league at home since the season’s opening day, and opening tests for the new boss don’t come much tougher than Liverpool. 

Before the break-in action, Liverpool played back to back thrillers in the Premier League with a 2-2 draw against fellow title rivals Manchester City at Anfield. The reds played a thriller in West London the week prior, drawing 3-3 with Brentford. Watford will be the last of the newly promoted sides for Liverpool to visit as they also beat  Norwich City on the opening weekend of the season. 

Embed from Getty Images

Views From Both Camps

New Hornets boss Claudio Ranieri feels that his side is ready for the challenge of Liverpool, saying this in his pre-match press conference: “I am very happy to come back to the Premier League - one of the best leagues in the world. I am an ambitious man, and I hope to bring Watford to safety at the end of the season and to also improve next season.

“I think about 40 points. There are 33 points to achieve now. I don’t know against who, I don’t know what will happen in every match. I want to fight.”

In his pre-match press conference, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted that he would find the test of Rainieri’s Watford hard to predict after analysing his opposite numbers tactics with his former side Sampdoria. Klopp had this to say on how hard it will be to prepare for Saturday’s game: “Watford’s last game v Leeds had a good idea. Problem is when you lose the ball, opponent has space for counters, that’s why Leeds won. Claudio said they have to be more compact. We don’t know the system they’ll play.”

Team News

Forward Josh King could recover from a minor knee injury in time to play in Ranieri’s first game. However, Christian Kabasele and Francisco Sierralta will be unavailable for the Italian after suffering injuries against Leeds. 

Brazilian duo Alisson and Fabinho will be heading straight to Madrid following the conclusion of their international duty for Liverpool’s Champions League game against Atlético Madrid. As a result, Curtis Jones will miss out on the trip to Hertfordshire, but Diogo Jota and Trent Alexander-Arnold should Liverpool’sfeature on Saturday lunchtime. 

Predicted Line-ups

Watford (4-5-1)

Foster; Ngakia, Troost-Ekong, Cathcart, Rose; Sissoko, Kucka, Sarr, Tufan, Sema; Dennis

 Liverpool (4-3-3)

Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mané

Ones to Watch

Watford- Dennis

This week, the usual star for the Hornets has been placed on the sidelines as we focus on one of the other men leading the line for Watford, Dennis. Dennis is Watford’s joint-second top scorer with two goals so far this season.

Dennis has featured five times in the league since his summer move from Belgian side Club Brugge. Dennis has the best shot accuracy of any Watford player this season with 70%. Watford will be hoping that if star man Ismaila Sarr doesn’t pop up like last time against Liverpool, Dennis can be a worthy replacement to steal the limelight.

Liverpool- Mo Salah

Whilst not featuring the obvious star man for the Hornets, we will discuss the Egyptian wing wizard Mo Salah for Liverpool. Salah scored what could be the goal of the season against City last time out, and already this season, he has staked his claim to be the player of the season so far. At times, his elegance and trickery on the ball are mesmerising, and his finishing ability is second to none. He is Liverpool's fastest man to 100 goals for a reason, he is a danger from minute one, and the Watford defence will have their handfuls on Saturday. 

Embed from Getty Images