- 4van Dijk
- Klopp signs new deal until 2024
- Liverpool planning move for Minamino
- Watford appoint Pearson as head coach
MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES
@Wilsonfooty: Stranger things have happened – but not many.
Having dropped far fewer points this season then Watford have won, it would be one of the biggest Premier League upsets of recent times if Liverpool were to do anything other than win this game comfortably.
Nigel Pearson could not have asked for a tougher start to his stewardship of Watford, and credit to him for not ducking it.
Pearson did get a point at Anfield as Leicester manager almost five years ago – the year that the Foxes defied the odds to stay up.
If Pearson can perform a similar Houdini act with Watford, it would be a stunning achievement.
VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on the title race: “I have no interest in stats, not in this case. It’s just like it is, we have to play a lot of games.
“That’s the only way we can do it, we have no idea what is in May. We play tomorrow, that is enough. Watford have a new manager, we can throw our analysis in the bin!”
Watford head coach Nigel Pearson: “Can we stay up, you’re asking? Yes. For sure we can stay up, but we’re going to have to have a collective buy-in from everybody associated with us.
“This strikes me as a club with an identity that maybe we need to redefine on the pitch. But I’m confident we can do that.
“I’m not going to try to reinvent the wheel. It would be slightly foolish of me to think there’s going to be a revolution; first and foremost it’s the mindset of the players.
“If it has been damaged and their confidence has been eroded by us not being able to find the answers this season, myself and the staff will do everything we can to help them on the journey.”
I know they are facing Watford in Nigel Pearson’s first game in charge but I can only see a Liverpool win here.
If Pearson can keep the Hornets up, it is not going to rely on what happens here – it will come down to their results when they play the teams around them.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in seven league games against Watford, outscoring the Hornets 25-4 (W6, D1).
- The Reds could become the first side in top-flight history to beat the same team at home by a five-goal margin in four straight seasons – they’ve twice won 5-0 and also recorded a 6-1 win over the past three campaigns.
- Watford have lost a club record 18 top-flight matches to Liverpool.
- The Hornets’ sole win in 12 top-flight games at Anfield was by 1-0 in 1999. It was their first Premier League match away to Liverpool.
- Liverpool are on a club record top-flight unbeaten run of 33 consecutive matches (W28, D5).
- The Reds have won 24 of their past 25 league games, drawing the other.
- They have scored two or more goals in 23 of those 25 fixtures.
- Liverpool boast the only 100% winning home record in the top four English divisions.
- The Reds are without a clean sheet in all 12 league and cup matches at Anfield this term, letting in 19 goals.
- They are guaranteed to be top of the table at Christmas – the last three occasions a team failed to win the title having been top at Christmas were all Liverpool (2008-09, 2013-14 and 2018-19).
- Mohamed Salah has scored six goals in four league games against Watford.
- Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have each scored five goals and provided three assists in their five and six appearances respectively against the Hornets.
- Watford have won just one of their last 20 league games dating back to last season (D7, L12).
- Their sole victory this term came against second-to-bottom Norwich.
- All five of their last permanent managers drew their opening Premier League match – including both Quique Sanchez Flores spells.
- They have scored just nine league goals and are the only side in the top four English divisions yet to reach double figures.
- Watford have kept only two clean sheets in 18 away league fixtures in 2019.
- The Hornets have lost their last 12 top-flight matches against teams starting the day top of the league.