Manchester City v Watford Betting Tips & Predictions – Saturday 9th March 2019

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City moved back to the top of the Premier League table last weekend and for the first time in a long time they have their title destiny in their own hands. After City picked up a 1-0 win at Bournemouth, Liverpool could only manage a 0-0 draw with rivals Everton. This weekend, the Premier League champions welcome Javier Gracia’s unpredictable Watford to the Etihad Stadium and will be keen to continue piling the pressure on Liverpool who don’t play until the following day.

The Hornets have had a mixed bag of results of late, but Gracia’s side are certainly capable of causing City problems at the Etihad on Saturday evening. However, the league leaders are the strong favourites to come out on top in this one. Will Man City keep their place at the top of the table after this round of fixtures or can Watford somehow cause an upset at the Etihad?

Top Tips

Manchester City Half Time/Full Time @ 1/2

Manchester City to Win to Nil @ 5/6

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Manchester City News: Citizens in Stunning Form

Manchester City Training Before Match at the Etihad Stadium
Mark Healey, flickr

Even though Man City have scored just two goals in their last three games, Pep’s side have won the Carabao Cup and two Premier League matches during that time. At this stage of the season the boss certainly won’t mind his men grinding out results.

After beating Chelsea on penalties to lift the EFL Cup, City sealed back-to-back 1-0 league wins over West Ham United and Bournemouth. The champions have been in excellent form in recent weeks, winning their last five in the league since that shock 2-1 defeat to Newcastle United at St James’ Park. In fact, since losing to Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day, the Manchester club have won nine of their following 10 Premier League encounters. With Liverpool drawing four of their last six, the current Champions are now big favourites to retain their title.

City Near Faultless on Their Own Patch

Man City have won each of their last eight league and cup games at the Etihad. Guardiola’s men have played 22 matches on home soil in all competitions this term, winning 20 and losing just two. They have the best home record in the Premier League at the moment, picking up a staggering 42 points from a possible 45. Meanwhile, away from home, only Tottenham Hotspur (33) and Liverpool (32) have accumulated more away points than City’s 29 up until now.

Champions Now Favourites to Retain Their Title

As we have alluded to, Man City have spent the last few months of the season chasing down Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. However, last weekend’s results saw City move back to the top, with both sides now have played the same amount of games. The current champions are the odds-on favourites to win the Premier League again, available at just 4/11. As for the Reds, you can get Klopp’s boys at 11/5. It’s certainly advantage City in the title race at the moment.

Defence to the Fore

Some have questioned City’s performances of late and it is true they haven’t found scoring as easy as they normally do. Two goals in three games is poor by their standards but they have got the job done and that has been down to their defence.

Two goals in three is nothing to shout about but that’s two more than City’s opponents have managed in those games. They have really limited their opponents’ chances in those games too, most notably last time out at Bournemouth. The south coast side can be dangerous on home soil but amazingly they didn’t even manage a single shot in that game, let alone one on target.

Watford News: Hornets Hoping for Seventh Spot

Watford FC Sign at Vicarage Road Football Stadium
Paul Hudson, flickr

Watford have enjoyed a fine season under Gracia, securing 12 wins from 29 matches thus far. Finishing in seventh place will be their main aim this term, and the Hornets are currently level on points with Nuno Espirito Santo’s seventh placed Wolverhampton Wanderers. Both Watford and Wolves have won 12, drawn seven and lost 10, with Wanderers just ahead on goal difference. However, with the likes of Everton and West Ham hot on their heels, the race for seventh is set to be fascinating and will reward whoever wins with a place in next season’s Europa League.

Four Wins from Five

Watford head to the Etihad having won four of their last five in all competitions. In the Premier League recently, the Hertfordshire club have seen off the likes of Everton, Cardiff City and Leicester. However, in their last away outing, Watford were thumped 5-0 by Liverpool at Anfield. Gracia’s side are also through to the last eight of the Emirates FA Cup, where they face Crystal Palace in the quarter-final and have a great chance of making a Wembley semi final. This is shaping up to be a memorable campaign for the Hornets and Gracia’s job has gone very much under the radar but deserves more praise.

Analysis: Home Side to Claim an Easy Victory

Even though Watford are in good form, getting anything from Saturday’s clash with the champions will be an arduous task for Gracia’s team. Man City have been in devastating form at home this season, shrugging off the majority of their opponents with real ease. In truth, Guardiola’s boys should be far too strong for Gracia’s Hornets at the weekend.

Home Side to Dominate from Start to Finish

Before their recent 1-0 victory over West Ham, Man City had been winning at the break in their previous seven home matches, all ending in wins. We fancy the hosts to be leading at half time and full time on Saturday, which is available at the tempting price of 1/2.

Another Shutout for City

Since that crucial 2-1 win over Liverpool at the start of the year, Man City have kept clean sheets in six of their last seven league and cup home wins. Meanwhile, Pep’s men have stopped their opponents from scoring in each of their last three. The Citizens are available at 5/6 to win to nil again on Saturday and that’s cracking value in front of their own fans.

Sergio to Strike First

Sergio Aguero is the Premier League’s top scorer at present, scoring an impressive 18 times so far. The Argentina international is in red-hot form, helping himself to 11 goals in his last 10 league and cup appearances for the Citizens. Have a punt on Aguero to score the opening goal of this one at the solid odds of 13/5.

Recent Matches

Man City have a stunning recent record over Watford. Since a 1-0 win for the Hornets way back in 1989, the Citizens are unbeaten in the following 14 meetings, winning 12 and drawing two. Meanwhile, City have won each of their last nine league and cup fixtures against the Hertfordshire club and they look like making it 10 here.

4th December 2018: Watford 1 – 2 Manchester City

Back in December, Man City left Vicarage Road with a narrow victory. Leroy Sane put Guardiola’s troops in front five minutes before half time, with Riyad Mahrez doubling City’s advantage shortly after the break. Abdoulaye Doucoure’s goal five minutes from time was no more than a consolation strike for Watford. The Citizens held on for a 2-1 win.

2nd January 2018: Manchester City 3 – 1 Watford

Just two days before this match, City’s 18 match winning run in the Premier League came to an end. Keen to make amends, they came racing out the blocks here, needing just 38 seconds take the lead. Things went from bad to worse for Watford 12 minutes later as Christian Kabasele directed a cross into his own net. Sergio Aguero added a fully deserved third in the second half while Andre Gray was responsible for Watford’s late consolation.

16th September 2017: Watford 0 – 6 Manchester City

Watford were handed their heaviest ever defeat in the top-flight courtesy of this superb Manchester City display. The Hornets had no answers to their opponents, left to chase the shadows of a side who refused to settle for what they had. Aguero grabbed himself a finely taken hat-trick while Sterling completed the rout via a late penalty following Kabasele’s foul. Marco Silva took issue with the awarding of the first and third goal but only he appeared to believe this was a turning point in the match.

21st May 2017: Watford 0 – 5 Manchester City

Guardiola ended the season on a high note as his men tore Watford apart, securing a place in next season’s Champions League in the process. Aguero made it 33 for the season, his best ever tally for Manchester City but his manager refused to answer questions surrounding his future. The result marked a miserable end to the outgoing Watford boss Walter Mazzarri who was booed by some home supporters as he fell to a sixth successive defeat.

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