Defending Premier League were on the wrong end of one of the shocks of the season last weekend when they were turned over by Norwich in a dramatic five-goal thriller at Carrow Road.
City’s defeat leaves them trailing title-rivals Liverpool by five points at the summit of the table, and remarkably, people are already suggesting that their loss against the Canaries could be a fatal blow in their bid to retain their title.
The Citizens recovered in the best possible manner in mid-week by easing past Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk in their opening Champions League Group game in Kharkiv.
City scored three times without reply at the Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist, once again flexing their considerable attacking muscle. Guardiola’s men have now scored three or more goals in four of their last six fixtures in all competitions.
On Saturday, City will be confident of hitting similar numbers again against a Watford side they regularly conquer with ease. The Citizens annihilated the Hornets 6-0 in a despairingly one-sided FA Cup Final in May, and that was Man City’s 11th straight win against Watford in all competitions.
City, in fact, rattled three goals or more past Watford in five of their last six encounters with them, racking up an aggregate score of 25-3 in the process.
The Hornets fought their way back from two goals down against Arsenal to rescue a draw at Vicarage Road last week, however, their performances and results in matches away to the division’s “Big 6” make for some pretty grim reading.
Watford were beaten in each of their last 15 away games against the Premier League’s top six clubs, and we expect the Hornets to struggle again at the home of one of the big boys on Saturday.
City should have little trouble taking maximum points against a Watford side still searching for their first Premier League win of the season, though we expect the Hornets to plunder a consolation goal.
Despite coming out on the wrong side of the result, Watford scored in three of their last four meetings with the Citizens. In addition, Man City have a mounting injury crisis at centre-half with John Stones joining Aymeric Laporte on the sidelines this week.
With those factors considered, we think the home win and both teams to score combination is priced excellently for Saturday’s game at the Etihad, and our correct score prediction of 3-1 to City takes the same circumstances into account.
The Citizens’ rampant attack hit a minimum of three goals in five of their six skirmishes with Watford, and we expect them to hit similar figures again on Saturday.