Watford v Manchester City Betting Tips & Predictions – Tuesday 4th December 2018

Without a win in four matches, Watford boss Javi Gracia would have been hoping for an easy midweek fixture to put such a run to an end. The Spaniard has been handed something far from it though, a clash against current league leaders and seemingly unstoppable Manchester City.

To manage even a point from this match would be a fine accomplishment for the Hornets. Pep Guardiola's side have won six league games on the bounce and already boast a goal difference of +37. In rampant form and with some very levels of impressive squad depth, the Premier League champions look well prepared for the busy festive period.

Top Tips

Man City to win with -1 goal handicap @ 4/5

Man City to win to nil 5/4

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

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Watford News: Appeal planned for Capoue red

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

Watford did not enjoy their Saturday afternoon in Leicester as they fell to a 2-0 defeat. The day was made worse late on when Etienne Capoue was handed a straight red for his challenge on Kelechi Iheanacho. Graham Scott took a dim view of the two-footed tackle but Gracia confirmed straight after the game that an appeal would be lodged. Helping fight their case is Iheanacho himself who admitted that he wasn’t touched during the challenge. This, added to the fact the Frenchman flew in with very little speed and had his feet close to the ground, means an appeal could well be successful.

Gracia pens new deal

There has been a revolving door of managers at Vicarage Road the last few seasons, with no less than nine new faces since 2012, but the board at the club appear keen to put this to an end. A four-and-a-half-year deal handed to Gracia just days ago indicates they believe the Spaniard is the man who can push them onto the next level. There is also a further option of a three-year extension should the 48-year-old remain at the helm by 2023. All parties involved expressed their delight once pen was put to paper but only time will tell if this is a match that is going to last.

Manchester City News: Goals run dry for Jesus

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

Guardiola’s side have had no trouble finding the net this season but the same cannot be said for Gabriel Jesus. Once the preferred striker at the club, the Brazilian is now the second choice option behind Sergio Aguero. The 21-year-old netted a hat-trick last month against Shakhtar Donetsk but is without a league goal since August. Despite the long drought, his manager has refused to criticize him, instead taking time to praise his work ethic and intelligent runs behind the defence. The only word of advice given was to relax but this is easier said than done when having gone so long without a goal.

De Bruyne will not be rushed back

After being hit by two serious injuries this season, there will be no speedy return for Kevin De Bruyne. He featured in all but one league game last season but his problems during the current campaign have seen him star just three times. At the start of November it was estimated the Belgian would need around five weeks to recover but there is virtually no chance of him featuring here. Reports suggest that he is also unlikely to play any part against Chelsea at the weekend as Guardiola refuses to take any chances with his star midfielder.

Analysis: Home not always full of comforts for Watford

Watford have faced seven league matches at Vicarage Road this season with three ending up in defeat. This is more home losses than any other side in the top half so it is fair to say their 21,577 seater stadium is not the most intimidating place to travel to right now. After seeing how easily Liverpool dismantled the Hornets in front of their own fans last month, City will no doubt be confidence of doing the same.

City simply too good

Only Wolves and Liverpool have been able to deny the English champions all three points in the league. The Citizens have regularly won in emphatic style but they have also shown a more gritty side to themselves in tough matches such as the win away at Tottenham. Helping to maintain their fine form is their strength in depth. Tired players can be rested with no noticeable drop in quality as there is such talent available in reserve. A straight City win will provide small returns but given they have scored 11 times on their last two trips to Watford, backing them with a -1 goal handicap (4/5) appears a safe enough bet.

Watford’s striking issues reveal themselves

Andre Gray and Troy Deeney enjoyed a decent start to the season, netting five goals between them in the opening seven games of the season. Neither has scored since though, leaving Roberto Pereyra as the club’s main source of goals. The Argentine has five strikes to his name, as many as he managed in 32 league appearances last season. It’s hard to see him being a regular scorer as a result and the same can be said for the rest of his teammates. The Hornets have netted just one in their last four matches so there looks to be every chance that a solid City defence can win this game to nil (5/4).

Recent Matches

You can forgive any Watford fan who isn’t in the most optimistic mood heading into this match. The Hornets have lost their last eight meetings against the Premier League champions and have been unable to beat them since a Division Two bout in 1989.

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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