Liverpool vs. Watford
Wednesday, February 27, 2019 – 8pm (GMT)
Referee: Graham Scott
While a 0-0 draw was far from a disastrous result – it still meant Liverpool leapfrogged their title rivals – there are concerns surrounding their current form.
With 11 league games remaining this season every match is huge and the midweek visit of Watford represents a must-win game.
The Hornets have enjoyed an impressive campaign with Javi Gracia at the helm, sitting seventh in the table and finding themselves in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Liverpool’s 3-0 win at Vicarage Road back in November was not as comfortable as the scoreline suggests and Jurgen Klopp‘s side will be given a tough night.
Anfield has become a fortress again with Klopp in charge, however, with the Reds unbeaten there in the league for almost two years.
This is a perfect chance for Liverpool to show they mean business after back-to-back goalless draws, with an expectant Anfield crowd desperate for victory.
With City hosting West Ham at the same time it promises to be another nervy 90 minutes, as the title race becomes increasingly tense.
This fixture last season: Liverpool 5-0 Watford
Roberto Firmino is expected to miss out after injuring his ankle at Old Trafford, although Klopp has said there is a chance he could feature.
There could be changes in midfield, with Naby Keita pushing for a start after playing no part at the weekend, should he recover from illness.
It could be Jordan Henderson who makes way, with the captain’s fitness issues often making it unlikely for him to start three games in a week.
Xherdan Shaqiri will also hope to play a more prominent role after falling out of favour of late, with Firmino’s potential absence possibly gifting the Swiss winger a start. Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi are also options.
Watford have no new injury problems, leaving Gracia in an enviable position.
Last 5 at Home to Watford (All Competitions)
Won 5-0 – March 2018 (Salah x4; Firmino)
Won 6-1 – November 2016 (Mane x2, Coutinho, Can, Firmino, Wijnaldum; Janmaat)
Won 2-0 – May 2016 (Allen, Firmino)
Won 2-0 – December 2006 (Bellamy, Alonso)
Won 1-0 – January 2005 (Gerrard)
Did You Know?
It all started with a routine 2-0 win back at the end of the 2015/16 season, before a rampant 6-1 victory in which Sadio Mane shone.
Last season, Mohamed Salah scored four times in a 5-0 triumph, at a time when there arguably wasn’t a more in-form player in the world.
On top of that, the Hornets have lost their last 11 away league games against the current top six.
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Watford – Last five results (all competitions)
Speaking to reporters, Klopp said everyone should be enjoying the “positive situation” of being top, as his players try and deliver the holy grail:
“Usually in a situation where you can be champions for the first time in your life – for a lot of our supporters it would be the first time in their life, and for a lot of my players as well – it’s pure opportunity and you have to use it on the front foot, with all the things you have to always do in football.”
TV & Live Blog Info
Liverpool vs. Watford is not live on UK television, so the next best thing is to come and join us on our matchday live blog.
Chris Williams will be keeping you entertained from 7.15pm (GMT), with kickoff at Anfield at 8pm.