On May first, Liverpool travel to Vicarige Road to take on Watford. Liverpool’s top four security seems to be dropping by the week and a win here is vital to them playing Champions League football next season.
Watford are as mid-table as possible. They lie in 10th place on 40 points, nine points away from the relegation zone and 18 points away from the European spots. The rest of their season is all about finishing as high as they can and trying to prove that the Watford owners were right in sacking Quique Sanchez Flores last summer.
This game means a lot more to Liverpool than it does to Watford. Their lead in the top four race has all but disappeared and now Manchester United, Manchester City, and even Arsenal could all better or equal their points total if they win their games in hand on Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp was hoping the Reds’ relatively easy schedule would carry them through to the top four, but they’ve failed to win against Crystal Palace and Bournemouth. They really can’t afford to drop points against Watford or else their top four spot would be in real jeopardy.
Watford will likely be without Younes Kaboul, Mauro Zarate, Roberto Pereyra, and Ben Watson against Liverpool, according to Physioroom.com. Craig Cathcart is also a major doubt for Monday, but he has a better chance of returning than the other four, according to Physioroom.com.
Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana both returned to full training this week and are hoping to be fit for the match against Watford, according to Physioroom.com. Ragnar Klavan will also undergo a late fitness test, according to Physioroom.com. They will be without Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson, and Danny Ings, according to Physioroom.com.
Watford: Troy Deeney
After a slow start to the season, Troy Deeney has had a similar season to the one he did last year. He has equaled his non penalty goal total of seven goals, though he only has four assists compared to his seven assists last year. Deeney and Etienne Capoue are the only Watford players with more than three goals this season, so if they’re not scoring Watford have problem with getting goals. They’ll need Deeney to be in form to outscore Liverpool.
Liverpool: Roberto Firmino
Of Liverpool’s big three attackers, Roberto Firmino is the only one that has been able to stay fit all season, with both Mane and Coutinho missing long stretches of time through injury. The Brazilian has had a fantastic season for Liverpool. With 11 non penalty goals and six assists, he has proven why Liverpool spent the money they did on him two summers ago. He came up huge for Liverpool three weeks ago with his late winner against Stoke City, keeping Liverpool in relative control of the top four race. He’ll hope to make a similar impact against Watford.
Liverpool have really struggled against non top seven teams away from home. That said, they should be able to deal with Watford. They’ll be hoping the Hornets have already packed it in for the season as they’re season is all but over. Regardless, Liverpool need a win and should get it against Watford.
Prediction: 2-1 Liverpool