Liverpool v Watford preview: Liverpool look to bounce back from United defeat
Last Updated: 17/03/18 4:36pm
Liverpool will look to bounce back from last weekend's defeat at Manchester United as Watford visit Anfield on Saturday (kick-off 5.30pm).
The Reds have dropped to fourth, five points off Manchester United in second, following that loss, but won both games against Watford last season by a 7-1 aggregate score.
However, they were held to a 3-3 draw on the opening day of the season at Vicarage Road and Jurgen Klopp insisted that his side face a tough game despite being at home.
"I saw the game from Arsenal against Watford and it was 3-0 right? That was not a 3-0. It was only the result, I saw the game and it was completely different," he said.
"Watford were really strong that day, missed created chances and caused them lots of problems. They are actually in a good moment even if results-wise the last one did not look like that.
"We respect them a lot but we have our own targets like always, and we have a home game. That should make it especially difficult for the opponent and we have nothing else to do than to create a really outstanding performance and atmosphere."
Javi Gracia will look to attack at Anfield, the Watford boss has promised, believing settling for a point will only guarantee defeat at Anfield.
"I know it is very difficult for us, but we are looking forward to the match," he said.
"I know if we play an open game against Liverpool, we have a lot of chances to lose the game.
"So we need to have a balance to be able to defend, but we need to attack as well - if you play this match only thinking about defending, you are going to lose for sure."
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson could make a return to the starting line-up for the visit of Watford.
The England midfielder was on the bench for last weekend's defeat at Manchester United but is likely to be brought back in.
Klopp has to decide whether to retain Dejan Lovren in central defence after his performance at Old Trafford came in for criticism or replace him with Joel Matip.
Watford defender Craig Cathcart will be back in contention following a hip problem. Goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes could also return to the squad, having sat out last weekend's defeat at Arsenal.
Midfielder Tom Cleverley (thigh) continues his rehabilitation, along with Gerard Deulofeu (foot), Nathaniel Chalobah (knee), Younes Kaboul (foot) and Isaac Success (knee).
- Liverpool have won nine of their 10 top-flight home games against Watford, losing only in August 1999 on what was the Hornets' first visit in the Premier League (0-1).
- Liverpool have never lost consecutive Premier League games under Jurgen Klopp, last doing so in September 2015 with Brendan Rodgers in charge.
- The Hornets have lost 16 of their 17 Premier League away games against sides starting that day in the top four of the table, winning only against Arsenal in January 2017.
- Eight of Watford's nine Premier League goals in 2018 have been scored after half-time, with seven of those being scored in the final 15 minutes.
I can't see anything but a Liverpool win. I fancy Liverpool to beat Manchester United into second, and this game is important for them to close down the current five-point gap. There's a lot to play for second place, mark my words. United have to play Manchester City so the gap will be two points, so Liverpool have to ensure they win these games.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0 (6/1 with Sky Bet)