Liverpool host Watford at Anfield on Sunday, having booked their spot in the UEFA Europa League final with a 3-0 win over Villarreal on Thursday night, while Watford enter the encounter in the knowledge that a win will see them into the top half of the table.
08 May 2016
Referee: L. Mason
Assistants: D. Cann, E. Smart
Fourth Official: R. Madley
TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Liverpool 19 14 1 4
Watford 19 4 1 14
Watford 3-0 Liverpool 20/12/15 (Premier League)
Goalscorers: N. Ake (3′), O. Ighalo (15′, 85′)
James Milner is enjoying the best form of his life, with 3 goals and 8 assists since the turn of the year. Having overcome his injury troubles, Daniel Sturridge seems to be back to his deadly best, scoring five goals in his last seven league matches, as well as the opener in Liverpool’s 3-0 Thursday win in the Europa League.
Given that Jurgen Klopp’s side will play in the final in Basel later this month, rotation is highly likely. Sheyi Ojo is one youngster that could feature, having made two starts in Liverpool’s last four Premier league games. The 18-year-old impressed hugely in Liverpool’s 4-1 win over Stoke last month when he was handed 45-minutes. The stocky winger recorded another assist in Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat at Swansea last time out.
Watford captain Troy Deeney will be the visitor’s danger man. Playing just behind Odion Ighalo, Deeney supplements his goal threat with assists. The striker has already notched up 11 goals and 8 assists, including a brace last weekend.
Goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes will have a part to play, regardless of who Klopp fields up front for the Reds. The former Spurs stopper has an impressive 11 clean sheets to his name and boasts more saves (115) than any other goalkeeper in the league this season. Last month, Gomes twice denied West Brom striker Saido Berahino from the penalty spot in the same match.
Liverpool have won three of their last seven domestic matches, with their 4-0 drubbing of Merseyside neighbours Everton standing out above the rest. The Reds lost 3-1 to Swansea last week, with Klopp handing starts to youngsters Kevin Stewart, Cameron Brannagan and Pedro Chirivella.
“We will need the help of the crowd because I don’t know how many more games we’ve had than Watford.
“We will have a few changes for sure and we will try do everything to win this game. We respect this league, we want to have the best position we can get at the end of the season,” Klopp said.
Watford’s form is similarly mixed. The Hornets come into the game on the back of a 3-2 win over bottom side Villa, with a loss, a win and a draw preceding the fixture.
Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores has urged his side to play competitively, despite securing their Premier League status for next season: “When you reach a target it’s easy to lose focus. We need to try to be competitive because the competition’s not finished.”
Jordan Henderson, Divock Origi and Danny Ings could all feature again before the end of the season but Sunday’s match comes too soon for the trio.
Watford have no fresh injuries from their win over Villa last weekend, but Allan Nyom and Nathan Ake could return to the starting lineup. Long-term absentee Etienne Capoue remains out with a knee injury.