Saturday 29/08/2015, Etihad Stadium, 3pm
Odds: Man City: 1/5, Watford: 19/2, The Draw: 6/1
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Last three meetings:
Man City 4-2 Watford (FA Cup)
Man City 3-0 Watford (FA Cup)
Watford 1-1 Man City
Form: Man City: WWW, Watford: DDDL
Man City: Pablo Zabaleta
Watford: Lloyd Doyley, Joel Ekstrand
Man City: None
Watford: Miguel Britos
Win, Lose or Draw?
Victory for Manchester City will see them shatter a club record for successive wins that has stood for over a century.
Their 2-0 toppling of Everton last time out was their ninth snaring of the spoils on the spin and newly-promoted Watford present an easy opportunity to bring up number ten…or do they?
Judging from their early fixtures, the Hornets will be relying on their rearguard to keep them afloat this season and for good reason.
They’ve kept a pair of clean sheets from three league matches and were firm enough to restrict Everton to two goals at Goodison Park, which was only enough to earn a point.
Their trip to Toffee land brought more chances for their attackers on account of the hosts’ prerogative to attack; they exploited the extra space accordingly and bagged two goals for their trouble.
A similar blueprint led to them rustling the net as many times on their last visit to the Etihad, when they took a 2-0 lead in an FA Cup fourth round fixture in 2013/14.
When they welcomed both West Brom and Southampton to Vicarage Road in games two and three, their watertight defence didn’t leak, but a lack of smarts in the final third was telling through their consecutive failures to score.
City rarely hold back in front of the faithful and, with confidence coursing through, they’ll be bombarding the Watford defence as soon as the lids are pinged.
Given their artillery, this will probably lead to a goal or two, but in Troy Deeney, Odion Ighalo and Matej Vydra, the Hertfordshire outfit have quality forwards who can cause an unprotected rearguard plenty of problems.
Stoke proved City aren’t immune to an early-season slip up in winning 1-0 at the Etihad last time around and, while Watford repeating the feat remains unlikely, an away handicap win isn’t out of the question.
Recommended bet: Watford (+2) to beat Man City @ 13/10
City have treated spectators to two over 2.5-goal games already this term and, given the amount of chances at both ends in their win at Everton, this could and, perhaps, should’ve been three.
This follows five of eight fixtures to finish last season in which the same line was crossed.
As mentioned, Watford aren’t lacking quality in the final third either and their only Premier League away match to date saw four goals bagged.
Six of their last nine Championship away matches also saw at least three notched; it’ll be a huge surprise to see this one fail to follow suit.
Recommended bet: Over 2.5 goals @ 9/25
Who’s going to score?
A Citizens defender has rustled the net in each of their three outings this term, with captain Vincent Kompany weighing in with two prior to Aleksandar Kolarov’s opener at Everton.
The Serbian had struck in two of City’s final three home matches of the previous campaign too.
His dead ball ability and adventurous style of play makes his 4/1 to register at any time of this one a reasonable price.
Troy Deeney rates a decent any time goal getter price on the other side of the fence.
He was on target in the aforementioned FA Cup game and is still awaiting his first strike of the new campaign after firing 24 in the second tier last time around.
Recommended bet: Aleksandar Kolarov to score any time @ 4/1
City registered in both halves in six of the nine matches they played to conclude the previous campaign and started this season by maintaining this rate.
Two of their three games so far have complied with the trend.
Recommended bet: Man City to score in both halves @ 31/50