Manchester City will be hoping to consolidate their top-of-the-table position when they host relegation-threatened Watford at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola’s team needed to be patient in midweek against Brighton and Hove Albion but they managed to overcome them 3-0. Watford, meanwhile, look like they could be back in the second tier next season.
Their late defeat to Brentford last weekend leaves them seven points from safety. City should be expected to pile on the misery this weekend but here is what the pundits are predicting.
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“What scoreline do you want?” Merson began in his Sportskeeda column. “Manchester City are winning this game, end of.
“The Premier League title race could go down to the wire, and Manchester City are six goals behind Liverpool in terms of goal difference. They’ll go for it this weekend.
“City are still massive favorites this season, despite Liverpool’s form. They don’t panic – they kept playing their game against Brighton and won 3-0 at a canter in the end.
“They have so many options in midfield and in the final third, and you could pick six of any 12 players for these positions. Watford just look gone.
“They’re not getting the results they need, and they’re missing chance after chance in the Premier League. They’ll probably get relegated this season, and I think Manchester City will win this game easily.”
Merson Prediction: Manchester City 5-0 Watford
“It is not really a question of whether Manchester City will win this one, more a case of how many will they score,” Lawrenson agreed on BBC Sport. “City put eight past the Hornets the last time they came to Etihad Stadium in 2019 and, while I don’t think the damage will be as bad this time, they should win comfortably again.
“Watford boss Roy Hodgson’s strength is his defensive organization and he will set his side up to try to keep City out and make things difficult for them. The problem there is that City are just too good. Once they get one goal, the floodgates could open.”
Lawrenson Prediction: Manchester City 4-0 Watford
Owen said: “It was a comfortable win for City against Brighton on Wednesday. Brighton have shown in recent weeks how good they are away from home, so it was a good win for City.
“Defensively, they were very solid and barely gave away any chances. That last-minute defeat against Brentford must have been crushing for Watford.
“They desperately needed something from the game, it’s difficult to see how they can stay up now. I can only see a comfortable win at the Etihad for City.”
Owen Prediction: Manchester City 3-0 Watford
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