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Liverpool v Watford: Home side ‘overwhelming favourites’ to swat aside hapless Hornets

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Top hosts bottom at Anfield on Saturday in what is expected to be a one-sided encounter between title-chasing Liverpool and relegation-threatened Watford.

The bookmakers have made Liverpool the overwhelming odds-on 1/5 favourites to win the match.

The draw is 11/2, with Watford huge underdogs to win at 12/1.

It’s Watford’s new manager Nigel Pearson’s first official match in charge, and he couldn’t have imagined a tougher start to life in his new role.

Liverpool have gained 73 of a possible 75 Premier League points in the last nine months, and have not lost at home in the league since April 2017.

Watford, on the other hand, have just nine points from 16 games this season, scoring a measly nine goals in the process.

The fabled ‘new manager bounce’ did not benefit Pearson’s predecessor, either, as Watford lost 8-0 at the Etihad in September in Quique Sánchez Flores’ first match in charge (albeit in his second spell).

However, Pearson has shown in the past that he can work miracles with a side facing relegation, having miraculously gained 22 points in Leicester’s final nine Premier League games of the 2014/15 season to keep them up.

As Leicester’s subsequent title-winning season under Claudio Ranieri showed, though, that side had more quality within its ranks than this Watford team, and it feels like the bookmakers have priced this match about right.

Indeed, the Reds have beaten Watford 5-0 at home twice in a row, and the same score-line on Saturday is a generous looking 18/1.

Mohamed Salah looks to have shaken off his ankle injury, having scored against Bournemouth and Salzburg in Liverpool’s last two matches.

The Egyptian is 7/10 to score for a third match in succession, with Sadio Mané 5/6.

Naby Keita also bagged in both of those games and, should he start again, 15/4 looks a decent price for the Guinean to find the back of the net once more.

I'm a freelance sports journalist who has worked for Goal & Bleacher Report amongst others. Get in touch, you're more than welcome to do so via Twitter.  

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