Three topics for discussion ahead of today’s match…
1 Stirring up a Hornets nest
City head into the clash with an excellent record against Watford, having not lost against the Hornets in 28 years.
The Blues have emerged victorious in 15 of the 26 competitive meetings, including the last eight and we’re unbeaten in the last 13 away games.
The last two trips to Vicarage Road have heralded thumping wins – a 6-0 victory last season and a 5-0 victory the season before.
Our last defeat occurred in March 1989 - a 1-0 Division Two reverse.
2 Different places, different faces?
As the second game of a jam-packed December and with perhaps more than one eye on Saturday’s clash against Chelsea, Pep Guardiola may ring a few changes to the side.
The Catalan assessed the fitness of Sergio Aguero and Oleks Zinchenko at Monday afternoon’s training session, after the Argentine missed Saturday’s win over Bournemouth and the Ukrainian was substituted with a nose injury.
The City striker who had the lot...
Aguero has an impressive goal-scoring record against the Hornets but may not be risked, while Guardiola spoke highly of Gabriel Jesus’ recent displays and work ethic after the weekend triumph over the Cherries.
One major talking point discusses who will feature on the wing: Leroy Sane or Riyad Mahrez? Sane has provided more Premier League assists than any other player since the start of last season with 20 – but Mahrez could consider himself unfortunate not to have started the last two league games on recent form.
3 Blues’ imperious away form
City are just two away games from equalling the Club record of 15 Premier League games on the road without loss.
Should the Blues avoid defeat against Watford and then Chelsea on Saturday, the Boxing Day trip to Leicester would provide the chance to set a new milestone.
City have won 10 and drawn three during the unbeaten run away from home and won six times in London.
Trips down south certainly don’t seem to faze Pep’s side…
A City win over Bournemouth could be very beneficial this weekend.
Four of the Blues’ closest challengers are in action on Sunday in derby matches which don’t always go to form.
Liverpool host Everton in the Merseyside derby, while Chelsea take on Fulham in the West London derby and Arsenal play Spurs in the North London face-off.
The Blues need maximum points today in order to benefit from any slip-ups from our title rivals and, of course, in case three of them win.