LIVERPOOL host Watford on Saturday. We asked Tom Love (@TomLove_18) to source the best bets from the Premier League encounter.
Liverpool v Watford | Saturday 14th December 2019, 12:30 | BT Sport
The juggernaut that is this Liverpool team shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Another comfortable win, this time at Bournemouth away, meant Jurgen Klopp’s charges continued their near-perfect form this season. Few would’ve expected the title race to be all but over by the New Year but at this rate it is a possibility. The gap to Man City is now stretched to 14 points whilst the lead over Leicester is eight.
Liverpool have invested in a strong backroom staff and these are the moments where nutritionists, physios and fitness coaches show their worth. Klopp has rotated his squad efficiently and effectively in the past month or so and the balance is just right.
Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri could once again feature with the main front three all playing in Austria midweek and a trip to Qatar for the Club World Cup on the horizon. There is clearly a collective ethos built around win-at-all-costs and all the players are signing off the same hymn sheet.
Hornets under new leadership
You wouldn’t believe it, Watford have another new manager!
The Pozzo family are notoriously brutal with their appointments and this season has been no exception. Javi Gracia got the club comfortably mid-table and to an FA Cup final last year but whatever credit he had in the bank dissipated after a tumultuous start to the current campaign.
Quique Sanchez-Flores returned for a second stint at Vicarage Road but this time round he lasted few than three months and with no upturn in results no-nonsense former Derby and Leicester gaffer Nigel Pearson has been parachuted in with a view to getting the Hornets out of trouble.
Watford have won just once in their last 20 league games, a quite incredible record. Another failure to pick up three points would’ve wrangled the Watford faithful last time out against Crystal Palace. It’s all about beating the teams in and around them from now till the end of the season, that has to be the key focus. These fixtures I can only presume they’ll sit deep and try stay in the game for as long as possible.
The betting angles
At Anfield, the Reds are near unstoppable and it’s no surprise they’re as short as 1/6 here – their record warrant such prohibitive odds. For us it’s a case of trying to get them onside at an attractive price that can be a problematic mission.
So I’ve taken a look into the results of both sides and tried to identify so trends. The bet that I have settled on is Liverpool to win, Over 1.5 Goals and Under 4.5 Goals which can be combined on William Hill’s YourOdds feature to garner a backable 19/20 quote.
This bet has landed in 75% of Liverpool’s league fixtures this season and it’s also landed 78% of Watford’s defeats this term too. We get a lot of scorelines on our side here and I could easily see a 2-0 or 3-0 result but backing this also gives us the possibility of 2-1 and 3-1 home wins in case Watford do notch.
I’m also willing to dip into the card markets for this one as I think there’s a great bet to be had when digging into the stats. We can back Watford -0.5 on the Card Asian Handicap line at 19/20 and that makes major appeal. It effectively means that we need Watford to pick up more cards than Liverpool.
The Reds have been well disciplined this season, picking up just a card per-game on average. That may be because they monopolise possession so don’t have to make as many tackles, or when they lose the ball their defenders have sufficient pace to get back and defend well.
The same can’t be said for Watford who are the joint second dirtiest team in the league with an average of 2.30 cards per-game. Last week against Palace they collected no fewer than four cards and they tend to be aggressive and rash off the ball.
The Hornets will likely to be on the back foot from the get-go here and they could easily get caught out by the pace with which Liverpool move the ball. Frustration could also play a part as Liverpool will look to toy with the visitors and keep the ball.
What’s more, the hosts most booked player, Fabinho, is injured and will not play this game.
Liverpool v Watford – Liverpool to win, Over 1.5 Goals and Under 4.5 Goals (19/20 William Hill)
Liverpool v Watford – Watford -0.5 Card Asian Handicap (19/20 Bet365)