Liverpool need to push the quarter final draw of the Champions League to the back of their minds on Saturday as they face Watford for Matchday 31 of the Premier League season.
Fans facing a Saturday evening kick off will remember the reverse fixture: a 3-3 thriller on the opening game of the season.
Watford come to Anfield sat 10th in the Premier League, 11 points above the relegation places. Their previous fixture was a 3-0 defeat against Arsenal last weekend. Javi Garcia’s side had won 2 games in a row going into the match at the Emirates beating West Brom and Everton both by a 1-0 score line.
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LFC look to bounce back after last week’s setback as the Reds dropped to 4th after the 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford. Poor defending led to Manchester United taking a 2-0 lead in the opening twenty minutes and referee Craig Pawson waved away two penalty decisions for the Reds in the second half.
Jurgen Klopp believes at least one of the penalty shouts should have gone our way. “I think it was a clear penalty between Fellaini on Mane. I think everyone agrees it was a penalty but that doesn’t help us now.” The Liverpool boss also criticised LFC’s defending for the two goals. “We have to defend these situations better, protect these situations better. You can always lose a header against Lukaku. We didn’t win the second balls.”
Despite being praised by Klopp today, Alexander-Arnold is expected to drop to the bench. Adam Lallana was called up for England duty yesterday but missed training and may be unavailable tomorrow. Despite being back in training, Nathanial Clyne still hasn’t fully recovered from his back injury and is unlikely to feature in the squad.
— Anfield HQ (@AnfieldHQ) March 10, 2018
Saturday’s fixture will be the 30th time the two teams have met with Liverpool having a superior record over the Hornets. The Reds have beaten Watford on 20 occasions, lost 5 times, whilst there has been 4 draws between the two sides.
The last time Watford came to Anfield was November 2016 when the Hornets were hammered 6-1. A Sadio Mane header put the Reds ahead in the 27th minute from a Phillipe Coutinho cross. Coutinho got Liverpool’s second’s just minutes later when Liverpool’s Brazilians combined and the Reds’ number 10 finished from outside the area. Emre Can headed home Liverpool’s third before half-time as the German converted an Adam Lallana cross. Adam Lallana also got an assist for Liverpool’s fourth, squaring the ball brilliantly for Firmino to finish from close range. Mane made it five after 60 minutes from close range after clever play by Bobby Firmino. With 15 minutes to go, Watford got a consolation goal courtesy of Darryl Janmaat as the Watford defender was left completely free in the area during a Watford attack. Liverpool completed the rout late on when Wijnaldum pounced to finish the rebound from a Daniel Sturridge strike. The Reds were dominant that day and will be hoping for more of the same tomorrow.
Anthony Taylor takes charge of tomorrow’s game. The Manchester born official has refereed us on two other occasions in the league this season, during the 3-3 draw against Watford on the opening day of the season and our 3-2 win over Leicester in September. Taylor produced a yellow card three times in each game.