Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Watford vs Man City in the Premier League on Saturday; kick-off 5.30pm.
Watford's mounting casualty list grew on Wednesday night with Adam Masina also facing time on the sidelines ahead of the visit of Manchester City on Saturday.
Masina was forced off in the first half against Chelsea and joins an injury list which already includes Ismaila Sarr, Ben Foster and Nicolas Nkoulou, who are all sidelined until January.
Francisco Sierralta (hamstring), Peter Etebo (quad) and Kwadwo Baah (ankle) are also out.
City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne heads a host of players ready to return for the champions.
The Belgian is now back in training after recovering from coronavirus while Ilkay Gundogan, John Stones and Kyle Walker - all missing at Aston Villa in midweek - are also available again.
Aymeric Laporte returns from suspension and, with Phil Foden and Jack Grealish on the bench on Wednesday after recent knocks, only Ferran Torres (foot) remains on the injury list.
How to follow
Follow Watford vs Man City in our dedicated live match blog and watch live on Saturday Night Football on Sky Sports Premier League from 5pm; kick-off 5.30pm.
Last time out...
Jones Knows' prediction
This visit from the champions is the final game of a run of five successive games for Watford against last season's top eight. There are more important challenges on the horizon for Claudio Ranieri than this encounter. In saying that, the Italian has won eight of his nine Premier League games as a manager against Manchester City, drawing the other.
That quirky stat has had no impact on the market though with City 1/7 with Sky Bet to record an away win. Yes, they'll win, but we don't need to be getting involved in those types of markets.
My main betting attack on the match will centre around the performance of the sensational Joao Cancelo.
He is fast becoming City's most important player in terms of chance creation - his link play with his teammates is seriously impressive and results in the full-back enjoying plenty of space to work with in the final third.
And once he gets into these dangerous positions, he's happy to fire shots at goal, posting 18 shots on goal in his last nine appearances in all competitions. I'd expect him to go close to keeping up that average in this game where City will be dominating territory for the majority. The 6/5 for him to have a shot on target makes plenty of appeal.
SCORE PREDICTION: 0-3
- Watford have never beaten Manchester City in the Premier League (D2 L10), losing their last 10 against them by an aggregate score of 37-4.
- Manchester City are unbeaten in their last 18 meetings with Watford in all competitions (W16 D2), netting 59 goals in this run. Only against Norwich (22 between 1965-1981), Walsall (19 since 1897) and West Brom (19 since 2010) have they ever had longer unbeaten runs.
- Watford have lost 19 of their 26 league games against reigning top-flight champions (73% - W4 D3), the highest loss rate of any side to have played at least 20 such games in English top-flight history.
- Having already beaten Manchester United, Watford are looking to defeat both Manchester United and Manchester City in a single league season for the first time since 1986-87 in the top-flight.
- Manchester City haven't lost any of their last 10 matches in all competitions in the month of December (W7 D3). Across those 10 games, they have scored 17 goals and conceded only three.
- Man City have lost just two of their last 21 Premier League away games (W17 D2), going unbeaten in each of their last six on the road (W5 D1). Since Pep Guardiola's first season in charge (2016-17), Man City have won more away games (72) and away points (227) than any other side in the Premier League.
- Man City boss Pep Guardiola has won all nine of his meetings with Watford in all competitions, by an aggregate score of 39-3. Against no side does the Spaniard have a better 100% win rate in his managerial career (also 9/9 vs Bournemouth).
- Man City's Raheem Sterling has been directly involved in 12 goals in just eight appearances against Watford in all competitions (10 goals, 2 assists). Only against Bournemouth (11) has Sterling scored more goals in his senior club career than he has against the Hornets.
- Watford's Emmanuel Dennis has scored in each of his last three Premier League appearances - the only Hornets players to score in four in a row in the competition are Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney, who both did so across November and December 2015.
- Bernardo Silva has scored four goals in his last seven Premier League appearances for Manchester City - as many as in his previous 55 games in the competition.
Premier League Preview - Gerrard's Villa impact assessed | Rafa's problems at Everton | Brilliant Bernardo Silva
Peter Smith is joined by Sky Sports News Midlands reporter Rob Dorsett, features writer Nick Wright and football journalist Oliver Yew to look ahead to the Premier League weekend.
PART 1 | Rob Dorsett discusses Steven Gerrard's impact at Aston Villa, the club's ambitious plans, and the reasons behind Leicester's underwhelming start to the season.
PART 2 | Nick Wright assesses the problems facing Rafa Benitez at Everton and what Mikel Arteta must do to get a misfiring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back in form.
PART 3 | Oliver Yew reflects on Bernardo Silva's brilliant performances for Manchester City, the strength in depth at Pep Guardiola's disposal, and whether there's a chance of an upset at Watford.