Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
There’s a very interesting dynamic here. Defending champions Manchester City have arguably fell a touch short of the astronomical expectations of critics and fans following a shock loss to a determined Norwich and a controversial draw against Tottenham. However, considering their ruthless victories against the likes of West Ham and Brighton, they may be victims of their own success in that regard.
Watford, on the other hand, are a team that is steadily gaining momentum after a disastrous start to their season. They lost their three opening games, before significant tactical changes saw them gain a point in a draw against Newcastle, and then produce their season best performance in a 2-2 draw against Arsenal: a game they looked unlucky not to win. That has created some doubt amongst fans, particularly a sense of hope for Watford loyalists, coming up against one of the best teams in the world. However, an upset still looks rather unlikely.
Manchester City vs Watford Prediction: Man City 4-0 Watford
Perhaps the most obvious example of why we don’t think Watford will shock the world here is their outings against Brighton. Watford lost convincingly in a 3-0 match while City toppled the same opponent 4-0. Things have improved for Watford since then but that is still an almighty gulf in terms of quality on the pitch. Ultimately, Watford are yet to win a single game this season, and Manchester City are an absolute mountain to climb in any circumstances. City’s disappointments have only shown that a Watford win is possible here, rather than close to likely. With that in mind, our scoreline prediction for is 4-0 to the defending champions.
Our recommended tip: Sterling scores two 2+ goals
Our scoreline prediction makes it clear that we think this game is likely to end heavily in favour of Manchester City, despite some setbacks early in the season. But who will be behind such a high scoreline? City has no shortage of contenders: Silva, Agüero, Jesus. Nonetheless, our nod is going to Raheem Sterling, who we have not seen score since City’s battle with Bournemouth, but is always impressive on the pitch. We expect him to once again take the reigns here. You can get good 3/1 odds for him to score two or more goals with Coral.
If Watford fans are looking for a reason to remain optimistic despite the challenges ahead, they aren’t going to find it in their previous encounters. Or, at least they won’t until 1989, which is when Watford last beat Manchester City. And it’s not like they haven’t had many games since then. In fact, in the 16 games that have taken place since, City have won 14 of them, with the last draw taking place in 2007. Not only that, but their meeting in May saw City win 6-0. There are few head-to-head histories as one-sided as this.
Top 3 Premier League Bookies
Players to watch: Raheem Sterling & Tom Cleverley
Manchester City: Raheem Sterling
We have already gone through many of the reasons why Raheem Sterling is our player to watch in our recommended tip section. But in all honesty, if you are reading this, you likely already know why Sterling should be a strong consideration for player to watch every time he walks onto the pitch. He is an astonishingly talented player, capable of changing the trajectory of any game.
Watford: Tom Cleverley
Not only did Tom Cleverley draw first blood in Watford’s hugely impressive stalemate against Arsenal, but he’s been a standout player throughout the early stages of this season. His pass accuracy is one of Watford’s deadliest weapons and if we do see an upset here, it is extremely likely that Cleverley will play a starring role. He surprised Arsenal with his skills and City would be unwise to make a similar mistake.