Premier League Preview: Watford vs. Manchester City

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  • City winless in six away games
  • Ighalo has goals in six straight
  • City have one away goal since Sept.

Manchester City will look to end their woes away from home on Saturday, although that won’t be easy with a trip to Vicarage Road to face Odion Ighalo and Watford (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra).

Watford have been one of the biggest surprises of the season, as the newly-promoted Hornets sit ninth on the table, just two points outside the top-five.

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Manchester City sit third in the league, but the Citizens have been far from a top team on the road. Manuel Pellegrini‘s side has an away record of 3-3-3, and haven’t won a match away from the Emirates since September. Sergio Aguero needs to get back on the scoresheet, as the Argentinian is without a goal in his last four appearances.

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For Watford, the main men will be Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney, the most potent attacking duo in the Premier League. The strikers have combined for 20 of Watford’s 24 goals this season, with Ighalo scoring in six straight matches for the Hornets. The pair will look to exploit a weakened City back-line, who will be without captain Vincent Kompany once again. Despite a strong start to the season, Watford have struggled at home, losing four of ten matches at Vicarage Road.

What they’re saying

Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores: “The first time we played against Manchester City they were amazing, they hadn’t conceded any goals, they were really positive. They have continued being an amazing team, but we have changed a little bit our mentality. We are established in the competition, we have the respect of the opponents, so now I think it is a little bit different.”

City manager Manuel Pellegrini: “The amount of points we have in this moment is not good to try and fight for the title in a normal season, when you need 56, 55, 53 points to be in front. But now just three points behind the leaders I think that’s an expected position, and I think we will compete with a very good second part of the season.”

Prediction

The last time these two teams met, Watford sat back and soaked up endless pressure, eventually folding and losing 2-0. However, playing at home on Saturday and with the current form of Ighalo and Deeney, I expect Watford to get on the scoresheet. The match will come down to if the Watford back-line can fend off the likes of Sterling, Silva and De Bruyne, which is never easy. Watford 1-1 Manchester City.