Pre-match | Man City v Watford

Manchester City v Watford FC

: 15:00pm, Saturday 29th August 2015
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Please be advised that travel may be impacted by the Gay Pride event on in town on Saturday. There are still issues with travel along the Mancunian way – thanks @squirtyflower for the travel info

Battle of last years’ bridesmaids; Manchester City (2nd Barclays Premier League 2014/15) welcome Watford FC (2nd Sky Bet Championship 2014/15) to the Etihad stadium. The two sides have only met competitively 20 times in their history which is surprising when you consider Watford were formed in 1881 and Manchester city founded in 1894 (St Mark’s 1880). City could set a club record ten consecutive wins if they achieve victory in this match after equalling the record with a victory against Everton! Man City have significantly strengthened the defensive side of squad with the signing of Ottamendi. The transfer of De Bruyne still appears on the horizon in what has been a spectacular transfer window for the blues. Watford have been very busy in the transfer market and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few more additions before the window slams shut.


Squad Information -Injuries/Suspensions

Squad (from):Caballero, Hart, Wright, Demichelis, Denayer, Kolarov, Kompany, Mangala, Sagna, Fernandinho, Delph, Lopes, Nasri, Navas, Silva, Toure, Aguero, Iheanacho
Injured:Clichy, Zabaleta, Fernando, Bony


Squad Information - Injuries/Suspensions

Squad (from)Gomes, Gilmartin, Arlauskis Nyom, Britos, Angella, Prödl, Paredes, Cathcart, Pudil, Layun, Holebas, Belkalem, Aké, Jurado, Behrami, Anya, Abdi, Watson, Capoue, Dyer, Deeney, Vydra , Forestieri, Berghuis, Ighalo, Diamanti
Injured:Doyley, Ekstrand


City and Watford have both faced Everton and WBA this season in games where City have achieved 2 wins where Watford managed 2 draws. Before the Everton game City had achieved 38 shots this season (highest in Premier league) compared to 27 shots from Watford!



A key fixture in the first few games was the link up play between Silva, Sterling and Kolarov – here we can see their combined heat map. The trickery of the trio may be too much too handle for Cameroon defender Nyon who made 100% of his tackles (5) vs Everton (all tackles made in deep right back position). I expect we will see a similar positional performance from Nyom as we seen in the Everton game and expect his forward momentum will be greatly restricted.

Silva, Sterling and Kolarov Heatmap vs Chelsea(left) and West Brom (right)


Nyom Heatmap first 2 matches – Everton (left) and West Bron (right)


Étienne Capoue signed for a Club Record fee of 6M this season and has started well despite not being able to previously force his way into the Spurs team with only 24 appearances. I expect Watford to sit deep and Capoue and Behrami to sit directly in front of the back 4 in an attempt to shield Prödl and Cathcart.

I expect Behrami to start but not finish the game; Behrami has fantastic work-rate and is a robust, skilful, solid player but very aggressive, a rash tackler and at times can be a hothead. The intricate passing and direct driving runs of YaYa will cause many problems and he may struggle well when restricted to minimal ball possession leading to frustration. The stats don’t back this up as he has never seen two yellows to lead to red and only 2 reds in his football career so perhaps this should just be classed as a hunch. He tends to receive a yellow every 4 games so perhaps I am doing him a discredit but feel that the overall power of Man City in central midfield will be a determining power in the outcome of this match.


I expect Man City will start with the same 11 players who have achieved 3 wins, 8 goals and 0 conceded in the first 3 matches of the season.




Quique Flores replaced Slavisa Jokanovic despite Watford achieving Premier League promotion at the start of the 2015 season and this will be the first head to head between the 2 managers in England. Flores is the 5th Watford manager in the space of ten months in what has been a turbulent period of managerial change; Watford Football club will surely be hoping for improved stability with Flores at the reigns.

Watford Managers in last 10 months

Pellegrini is a vastly more experienced manager with 27 years experience compared to 11 years for Flores. The 2 managers are very familiar and have had many duals in La Liga; Pellegrini as manager of Villareal, Real Madrid & Malaga and Flores as manager of Getafe, Valencia & Atlético Madrid. Pellegrini has had substantially more success with 9 wins to 3 and 1 draw between the managers.

LaLiga Head To Head

  • 01/05/2005 Primera División 2004/2005 – Villarreal 4v0 Getafe
  • 12/12/2004 Primera División 2004/2005 – Getafe 1v2 Villarreal
  • 05/11/2005 Primera División 2005/2006 – Villareal 1v0 Valencia
  • 04/01/2006 Copa del Rey 2005/2006 – Villareal 0v2 Valencia
  • 11/01/2006 Copa del Rey 2005/2006 – Valencia 1v0 Villarreal
  • 22/03/2006 Primera División 2005/2006 – Valencia 1v1 Villarreal
  • 07/01/2007 Primera División 2006/2007 – Villareal 1v0 Valencia
  • 26/05/2007 Primera División 2006/2007 – Valencia 2v3 Villarreal
  • 26/08/2007 Primera División 2007/2008 – Valencia 0v3 Villarreal
  • 07/11/2009 Primera División 2009/2010 – Atlético Madrid 2v3 Real Madrid
  • 28/03/2010 Primera División 2009/2010 – Real Madrid 3v2 Atlético Madrid
  • 19/12/2010 Primera División 2010/2011 – Málaga 0v3 Atlético Madrid
  • 07/05/2011 Primera División 2010/2011 – Atlético Madrid 0v3 Málaga

Referee Appointments


Mark Clattenburg

ASST. REF. 1: S Beck

ASST. REF. 2: J Collin




Manchester City record win against Watford is 3v0; looking at the odds the bookies think this could be beaten, with best odds only @ 4-1 for Man City to win by 4 Or More Goals

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