Premier League Preview: Watford vs. Liverpool

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  • Coutinho, Sturridge, Clyne and Lallana to miss match with injuries
  • Rumors still swirling around Liverpool and Coutinho
  • Three of Liverpool’s four defeats in the opening weekend of the season have come away from Anfield
  • Watford have yet to record a win on matchday one.

Liverpool look to continue its stellar play from preseason as the club opens the 2017-2018 Premier League season on the road at Watford (Watch live at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

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However, an air of uncertainty swirls over Liverpool, with Philippe Coutinho reportedly handing in a transfer request with Barcelona after him. He won’t take part at Watford and neither will fellow starters Daniel Sturridge, Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana.

On the other side, Craig Cathcard, Mauro Zarate, Christian Kabasele and Brice Dja Djedje are all out injured and captain Troy Deeney remains a gametime decision. But Marco Silva‘s side are ready to debut forward Andre Gray, who joined for a club record fee, reportedly worth $24 million.

What they’re saying

Jurgen Klopp on getting ready for the PL season: “What we expect from ourselves, and what we expect from our opponent, is this plus 20 or 30 per cent because now it is real, now it is the Premier League.”

Jurgen Klopp on the Philippe Coutinho transfer saga: “He has back problems and was not in training since last Friday. So no, he is not available and is also a doubt – if he is not available for Saturday – for Tuesday, unfortunately.”

Marco Silva on new signing Gray: “He’s a good player,” said Silva. “He’s a player who wanted to come here and improve his career. He will improve our roster. We did our homework on him and he’s a different type of player to Okaka and our captain [Deeney]. What we need to do is prepare our attacks well to give more chances for him to score. The board knew my opinion about the player and then did the job of signing the player. I am happy with this signing.”

Video Preview

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=24&v=BmnRF4aIgw4

Prediction

Predicting the first game of the season is always difficult, especially with so many first-team players out of action. Liverpool has won each of its last four season openers after losing four straight, but this may be the season its winning streak breaks. We think it will be a tightly contested affair, finishing in a draw. Watford 1-1 Liverpool