Premier League: Liverpool vs Watford preview

Premier League leaders Liverpool are desperate to maintain their place at the top of the table, so they need to defeat Watford in Wednesday evening's match at Anfield. The reverse fixture result should give the Reds enough confidence, they won it 3-0 in November with goals from Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino. Last season Liverpool defeated Watford 5-0 at Anfield, but that victory came after a surprising 3-3 draw in the reverse fixture. Overall, Liverpool have won five of the last six direct matches, while Watford's last victory at Anfield was in 1999.

Liverpool returned to the top of the league table last weekend, even though they only managed to grab a goalless draw in the North West Derby against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Second-placed Manchester City are just one point behind and are playing at the same time at home against West Ham United. Liverpool recorded two goalless draws last week, first at home against Bayern Munich in the Champions League and then at Man United, and have drawn four of their last five matches in all competitions. Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren remain sidelined, but Naby Keita should be able to make his return.

Watford have won their last three matches in all competitions, including an impressive 5-1 victory at Cardiff in the Premier League last week. That was their largest win of the season and it moved them up to seventh place, tied on 40 points with Wolverhampton. The Hornets can't really hope to go further up in the table as sixth-placed Chelsea are ten points ahead, but finishing seventh could give them a chance to play European football next season, depending on who wins the cup competitions. Jose Holebas is suspended for Wednesday's match, while Kiko Femenia is the only injury doubt for the visitors.

Probable line-ups:

Liverpool: Alisson - Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson - Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Keita - Shaqiri, Salah, Mane

Watford: Foster - Janmaat, Mariappa, Cathcart, Masina - Doucoure, Capoue - Pereyra, Sema - Deeney, Deulofeu

My prediction: Liverpool to win 2-1, the Reds will have a difficult game but they should be able to edge past Watford.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Liverpool win - 1.28
Draw - 6.00
Watford win - 12.00

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