1 March 2020
Watford and Liverpool go head-to-head at the Vicarage Road in contrasting circumstances. While the hosts fight tooth and nail to avoid relegation, the visitors are seemingly moving towards their first-ever Premier League (PL) title.
After going six PL games unbeaten (W4, D2), relegation-threatened hosts have zoned out again, as they come into this fixture on a run of five league matches without a win (D2, L3). But, although they remain the league’s joint-worst attacking side (24 goals scored), the Hornets have bagged over 1.5 goals in four of their last five PL home matches, losing just once along the way (W3, D1). It will, nonetheless, be a daunting prospect for Watford to cope with the side they’ve lost to in four of their six previous top-flight home H2Hs (W1, D1). While four of those H2Hs saw Watford concede precisely three goals, three witnessed them fail to get on the scoresheet. Nigel Pearson will be desperate to see his side avoid conceding the first goal, as they returned just one point from five PL home games in which they’ve allowed the opener.
As for the visitors, their inexorable march towards their first league title in 30 years has continued with a 3-2 home win over West Ham last time out, as they now enjoy a stunning 18-game winning league run. Impressively, ten of their 12 previous PL victories have yielded a clean sheet, with seven producing a winning margin of two goals or more. Moreover, quick-silver Reds have opened the scoring in 11 of 13 top-flight road trips so far this campaign (85%), winning the first half on eight of those occasions (HT: W8, D3, L2). That’s because, even though 46% (13) of their 28 PL away goals scored came before the break, Liverpool’s rock-solid defense has allowed just two first-half road goals thus far.
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