Watford vs Manchester City Match Preview.

02/01/2016 11:16

Who'd have thought at the start of the season that we would all be so frustrated walking away from Vicarage Road following a narrow defeat against Tottenham Hotspur?

The Hornets showed tremendous grit and determination to keep Spurs at arm's length, following the dismissal of Nathan Ake and they were inches away from going 2-1 up with minutes to play, with Ben Watson's in swinging corner inches away from going over the line.

But it was a bitter pill to swallow for most inside Vicarage Road when Maurico Pochettino's men snatched the three points as the clock ticked over to 90 minutes,

It's a testament as to how far Watford have come under Quique Sanchez Flores that the majority felt hard done by at the result, especially after replay's revealed Heung Min Son's winner should have been ruled out for offside. 

But let's look at the previous three fixtures with a bit of perspective.

Four points from Watford's fixtures against Liverpool,Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur is a decent tally. We would have taken that all day long at the start of the season and heading into those fixtures dare I say.

However, the Hornets' fixtures don't get any easier and the wealthy Manchester City are the visitors to Vicarage Road today, in a match which will be televised by Sky Sports this evening.

Despite Monday's result, Watford come into the game in 9th place in the table, whilst City's draw with Leicester earlier this week ensured that they remain in third spot, just three points away from leaders Arsenal.

During the match earlier this season at the Etihad, it was City who ran out 2-0 winners despite a valiant showing from the Golden Boys. Raheem Sterling put the hosts ahead just moments after half time, before Fernandinho added a second to make the points safe for City.

City are managed by Chilean Manuel Pellegrini, although there is speculation that the powers that be at the club are set to dispense with the 62-year-old services at the end of the season, despite the fact the Citizens have won the Premier League and Capital One Cup during his tenure.

Pep Guardiola is the man heavily tipped to take over at the Etihad in the summer, should Pellegrini leave the club, but for now the 62-year-old has been entrusted with the task of delivering another Premier League trophy.

There are a number of hugely talented players in the current City squad, but two of their key players today will be Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne.

On his day, Aguero is arguably the best striker in thePremier League, having scored 116 goals in 175 appearances in all competitions for the Citizens. With his pace, power and eye for goal, the Argentinian has
proven himself to be one of the toughest opponents to mark in the Premier League and he really makes City tick.

De Bruyne has proven to be a hit up at the Etihad Stadium and Chelsea must be thinking why on earth did they allow him to leave Stamford Bridge.

The Belgian international has flourished since leaving the London club, proving himself to be one of the best midfielders in the world in his time with Wolfsburg.

It was City who won the race for him in the summer and the midfielder has hit the ground running, notching nine goals in 24 appearances so far.

He has put in a number of impressive performances up at the Etihad, with his pace and flair causing defences a number of problems.

Today's game will undoubtedly be a tough test, but it is a chance for the Hornets to pit themselves against one of the best sides in the league.

Manuel Pellegrini's men arguably have the best squad in the division and should really be higher in the table than they are at the minute.

Despite being three points off of the top, the Citizens are on a dire run of form away from home, having not won away from home in the Premier League since September, so Manuel Pellergrini's men could be there for the taking.

However, the Hornets will have to be at their best if theywish to secure a point or three from today's clash, given the wealth and players that Manchester City possess.

Team News

For Watford, Nathan Ake is suspended after being sent off during the Hornets 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. Joel Ekstrand and Tommie Hoban are the only other injury absentees.

For Manchester City, Manuel Pellergrini has been dealt a blow with the news that Vincent Kompany is set to be side lined for three-four weeks. Gael Clichy, Fabian Delph and Fernando have all returned from their respective injuries.

Predicted Team Line-ups

Watford - Gomes (GK), Nyom, Britos, Cathcart, Holebas, Abdi, Capoue, Watson, Juradom Deeney ©, Ighalo.

Manchester City - Hart (GK), Zabaleta, Otamendi, Mangala, Sagna, Toure, Fernandinho, De Bruyne, Sliva, Sterling, Aguero.

Referee - Martin Atkinson.