Reds look for winning start to Premier League campaign – Watford vs. Liverpool Preview

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Liverpool’s Premier League season begins with a trip to Watford on Saturday lunchtime, as the Reds aim for a perfect start to 2017/18.

Watford vs. Liverpool

Saturday, August 12, 2017 — 12.30pm (BST)
Vicarage Road
Premier League

After a long summer of no major international tournament, transfer fury and eight pre-season matches, proper football is back.

There is plenty going on off the pitch at Anfield currently, but it is vital Jurgen Klopp‘s side don’t switch off on it this weekend.

Liverpool could have had worse fixtures to begin their season, but Watford are a side who could prove to be a dark horse under new manager Marco Silva.

The Portuguese has made some interesting signings, most notably Nathaniel Chalobah, Will Hughes and Andre Gray, and they have a nucleus of physical players who will make life tough on Saturday.

Last season’s gritty 1-0 win at Vicarage Road proved that trips there are never easy, and a slightly depleted Reds side won’t have it all their own way.

Picking up three points on the opening weekend is always a welcome boost, and given the competitive nature of the Premier League‘s top-six clubs, losing early ground would be a blow.

Here we go again: the quest to end 27 years of pain.

Last Meeting: Watford 0-1 Liverpool

 

Team News

HONG KONG, CHINA - Wednesday, July 19, 2017: Liverpool's Adam Lallana warms-up before the Premier League Asia Trophy match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at the Hong Kong International Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Philippe Coutinho is set to miss the game with a back injury, while the midfielder continues to push for a move to Barcelona.

Adam Lallana is a long-term casualty, with the 29-year-old expected to be out for a minimum of two months with a thigh problem.

Another of last season’s regulars, Nathaniel Clyne, is also out, paving the way for Trent Alexander-Arnold to step in and make just his third Premier League start.

Daniel Sturridge misses out, too, with the striker nursing a thigh complaint.

In terms of team selection, Klopp has to decide between Alberto Moreno, Andrew Robertson and James Milner at left-back, with the former’s impressive summer arguably making him favourite to start.

With no Lallana or Coutinho, it seems likely that Jordan Henderson, Emre Can and Georginio Wijnaldum will all be selected, although don’t completely rule out a surprise start for the ever-impressive 17-year-old Ben Woodburn.

Mohamed Salah will make his official Liverpool debut, with the Egyptian on the right-hand side of a devilish-looking front three, alongside Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

Watford captain Troy Deeney is expected to be fit for the game, and Silva will be boosted that he has no other major injury concerns other than Mauro Zarate, who has been missing since February.

 

Vicarage Road

A general view of Vicarage Road during the Barclays Premier League match at Vicarage Road, Watford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 21, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Watford. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

Capacity: 21,577

Away fan’s pubs: Oddfellows or Moon Under The Water.

 

Form

DUBLIN, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND - Saturday, August 5, 2017: Liverpool's Dominic Solanke celebrates scoring the third goal with team-mate Ben Woodburn during a preseason friendly match between Athletic Club Bilbao and Liverpool at the Aviva Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Watford – Last five results (all pre-season)

Drew 0-0 vs. Real Sociedad
Drew 0-0 vs. Aston Villa
Lost 2-1 vs. Rangers
Won 1-0 vs. Eibar
Won 1-0 vs. Viktoria Plzen

Liverpool – Last five results (all pre-season)

Won 3-1 vs. Athletic Bilbao
Drew 1-1 vs. Atletico Madrid (lost 5-4 on penalties)
Won 3-0 vs. Bayern Munich
Won 3-0 vs. Hertha Berlin
Won 2-1 vs. Leicester

 

Klopp’s View

In his pre-match press conference, Klopp spoke highly of Silva, and also discussed what Salah will bring to the Liverpool team:

“We’ve seen a few of their pre-season games. He’s a very dominant coach—you can see the things he brought in at Hull.

“[Salah] has speed, technical ability, finishing—speed is the most difficult thing to defend in football as it opens spaces.”

 

TV Info

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 8, 2015: A television camera blocks the view of the goal during the FA Cup 6th Round Quarter-Final match between Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

UK viewers: Watford vs. Liverpool is being shown live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League in the UK (coverage from 11.30am BST), which are available to live stream with a NOW TV day pass (10% off).

Or get 40% off a NOW TV Sky Sports monthly pass to watch this match, as well as Liverpool vs. Arsenal on 27th August and Manchester City vs. Liverpool on 9th September, as well as all other Sky Sports coverage. Click here.

US viewers: Watford vs. Liverpool is being shown live on NBC SN in the US, which is available to live stream with FuboTV.

Get a 7-day free trial with FuboTV here to watch the match live.

Alternatively, our matchday live blog will be up and running at 11.45am, with Henry Jackson talking you through the action at Vicarage Road.

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