Man City v Watford preview: Pep Guardiola's side seek response
Last Updated: 14/12/16 8:36pm
Manchester City will be aiming to bounce back from their shock defeat at Leicester when they host Watford on Wednesday (kick-off 8pm).
City conceded three times in the opening 20 minutes on their way to a 4-2 loss against the Premier League champions on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola said afterwards that he "doesn't train tackles", but acknowledged his side need to improve defensively.
"I realised to control the games we must concede less goals and here I cannot do that. So I have to analyse why," he commented.
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Watford conceded twice against Everton at the weekend but still came away with a 3-2 victory.
While head coach Walter Mazzarri said he was "surprised" by the manner of City's defeat at Leicester, he added: "In Italy we have a saying: 'Each game has its own story.' That result won't help us.
"We will find Manchester City very angry and concentrated, we won't have the luck that they will underestimate us."
City will be without suspended duo Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho while defender Vincent Kompany is out with injury.
Watford will have midfielder Roberto Pereyra back from suspension while defender Younes Kaboul continues to be assessed on a calf strain and Valon Behrami is still recovering from illness.
Craig Cathcart remains sidelined with a groin problem, but Mazzarri is hopeful the defender could be back in contention before Christmas.
City are unbeaten in four previous Premier League games against Watford, winning both fixtures against them last season (W2 D2 L0).
The Hornets didn't manage a single shot on target in their Premier League meeting with City at the Etihad Stadium last season.
All seven of the previous goals scored in this fixture in the Premier League have arrived after half-time.
Watford's last league win over City came in a second tier clash in March 1989 (D2 L4 since).
Guardiola has seen his side concede three or more goals in consecutive league games for the very first time as a manager.
Guardiola has only lost three successive league games as a manager once before - this was in May 2015 as Bayern Munich boss (vs Bayer 04 Leverkusen, FC Augsburg and Sport-Club Freiburg).
Watford have conceded nine goals and allowed their opponents 20 shots on target in their last two Premier League away matches.
Paul Merson's prediction
I just don't know with City. I expect them to win every game but they don't really know what they are doing. For too many years the manager has put teams out there - like Barcelona with Messi and Bayern having just won the treble - and not had to do much. He comes here and it's difficult.
I would expect them to beat Watford. They have to win. If City don't win this game they are struggling to be in the top four let alone win the league. At the moment they just don't look anywhere near. They have a goalkeeper who can't make a save.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (Sky Bet odds 6/1)
City are just 1/4 with Sky Bet as Watford go up against odds of 9/1, while the draw is priced at 5/1. Guardiola's men were pushed out to 5/1 to win the Premier League following their weekend loss to Everton, while the Hornets drifted to 20/1 to face relegation after beating Everton.
Kelechi Iheanacho heads the first goalscorer betting at 11/4 in Aguero's absence, while Stefano Osaka is 28/1 for another brace. Find out what the Soccer Saturday pundits and Jamie Redknapp are tipping in their Sky Bet tips here.