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Man City v Watford: Talking Points

TEAMWORK: Will City get back to winning ways against Watford?

TEAMWORK: Will City get back to winning ways against Watford?

We take a look at four discussion points ahead of Manchester City's Premier League game against Watford at the Etihad Stadium.

1 Get the home fires burning

The players are bound to be hurting after the defeat at Leicester, and the motivation to return to winning ways against Watford in front of the Etihad Stadium crowd should be huge. City steamed into the season with 10 successive wins but the form has cooled since then, partly because of a string of frustrating games at home. The Watford clash is an opportunity to get back to the Ws in front of the home faithful, and set the stall out for an intense run of festive fixtures.

2 Box to box

A common theme of Pep Guardiola’s recent press conferences is his desire for City to better in both boxes. It’s a simple but irrefutable concept, save for the odd 30-yard screamer that goes in at either end that you cannot generally legislate for. If the improvement the boss is asking for arrives against Watford, the chances are three points will too.

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3 Hornets' sting

Walter Mazzarri’s side sit in ninth place in the table; they are a dangerous team. Stefano Okaka’s confidence will be sky high after his double in the 3-2 weekend win over Everton, Troy Deeney leads from the front, and keeper Heurelho Gomes is a mercurial talent.

4 Fine margins

When Jesus Navas lashed the ball across Chelsea’s six-yard box 10 days ago, City fans were off their seats ready to applaud Kevin De Bruyne’s close-range finish and a 2-0 lead… except it didn’t happen. Fast-forward to today and City trail Antonio Conte’s side by seven points. The team that created chance after chance against the leaders has not disappeared overnight, and the recent negative tide can be turned very quickly.

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