Lineups from 12:30
Watford: Gomes (GK); Nyom, Britos, Cathcart, Ake; Capoue, Watson; Abdi, Deeney (c), Jurado; Ighalo.
Subs: Arlauskis (GK), Holebas, Behrami, Guedioura, Anya, Diamanti, Oulare.
Liverpool: Bogdan, Clyne, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno, Lucas, Henderson, Can, Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino.
Subs: Fulton, Toure, Randall, Allen, Ibe, Origi, Benteke.
Watford v Liverpool
Watford host Liverpool at Vicarage Road in the lunchtime Super Sunday kick-off, as the reds pack their bags to embark on a road-trip that would make Magellan* jealous. Try saying that quickly after 6 pints.
Five of the next six matches for Liverpool will be away from Anfield, as they clock up the air-miles on a journey that will take in glamourous locations including Watford, Sunderland, Stoke and Exeter. Rumours that the players are going to use their air-miles for a group holiday in Disneyland next summer cannot be confirmed nor denied.
Liverpool face a Hornets’ side that are in superb form, sitting in seventh in the Premier League table, and a point above the Reds. The strike partnership of Ighalo and Deeney has been likened to many of the worlds great double acts – Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire, Anthony & Cleopatra and not forgetting Pinky & The Brain. Martin Skrtel and Co. will need to keep these two quiet to have any chance of coming away with the three points on Sunday.
Liverpool’s away league form under Klopp has been undermined by that horror-show on Tyneside. Prior to that, they had secured two wins and a draw with away games at Spurs, Chelsea and Manchester City – an impressive run of form. Klopp will be hoping that his team revert to the type of performances they produced at Stamford Bridge and The Etihad.
Klopp must once more prepare for the game without Daniel Sturridge, who continues to recover from a hamstring strain. The emergence of Origi as a genuine threat will serve as some relief to the German, however the form of Benteke will make his Sauerkraut taste that bit more…well…sour.
Does Klopp dare bench his £32,000,000 front-man? The return to fitness of Philippe Coutinho will be key. Coutinho could supply the ammo for Benteke to thrive on, or he could replace the big man and form one-third of the mobile front-three that caused Chelsea and City so many problems recently.
With Liverpool just 5 points outside the Top 4, a run of victories could place them in a strong position heading into the new year. Liverpool fans will be hoping the show of ‘togetherness’ displayed after the final-whistle last Sunday will be replicated on the pitch against an opponent in superb form. I suspect they’ll need it.
*Magellan was the first man to take a round-the-world cruise.
Niall Hawthorne has a strange view on most things. Check out his blog for proof rantsofarebel.wordpress.com.
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His views are his own, because quite simply nobody else would have them.