CARDS specialist Chris Goodwin (@CGeorgeGamble) picks out his favourite fancies from Saturday’s showdown between Liverpool and Watford.
Liverpool vs Watford | Saturday 2nd April 2022, 12:30 | BT Sport
Liverpool Team news:
Mo Salah and Sadio Mane went to extra-time and penalties in their meeting during the international break on Tuesday night and may need to be assessed upon their return.
Luiz Diaz, Alisson and Fabinho have a long trip back from South America to make and with the Champions League around the corner, Jurgen Klopp has some decisions to make here.
Andy Robertson and James Milner are both back from COVID and available for selection on Saturday, and the latter and Joe Gomez are battling to start at right-back with Alexander-Arnold potentially out.
Watford Team news:
Watford will likely go unchanged from their surprise 2-1 win away to Southampton before the international break.
Joshua King scored a hat-trick for Norway on Tuesday night and will push Joao Pedro to lead the line here.
Watford Under 7.5 Shots (8/11 Unibet)
Eight of Liverpool’s last nine Premier League opponents at Anfield have managed fewer than eight goal attempts.
Watford have failed to have eight or more attempts on goal in three of their last five meetings with Liverpool.
The hosts will dominate from start to finish as they attempt to leapfrog Manchester City.
The end of the international break sees the Premier League return for it’s final run-in and we kick off the weekend with Watford travelling to face title-chasing Liverpool at Anfield. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that Liverpool should get the win here.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are yet to taste defeat on home soil in the league this season and they’re the top scorers in the division, scoring 75 goals from 29 matches. They’re chasing down Manchester City for the top spot and won’t take their foot off the gas, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them absolutely pepper the Watford goal from the first minute.
Watford on the other hand are struggling and are in danger of falling through the trapdoor and into the Championship. The Hornets sit third bottom and trail Everton by three points despite playing two extra games. It’s an alarming situation and whilst these aren’t the games they expect to win, it’s got to a point now where they need to try and finish every match having earned something, irrespective of the opponent.
A defeat here could leave them with an even bigger mountain to climb so I’d expect them to just try and somehow avoid a defeat here. As such, I wouldn’t expect Watford to be in the Liverpool half all too often and so I’m siding with the unders in the shots market.
Watford will also be without Ismaila Sarr who is vital for when they want to hit on the break. Expect one-way traffic and Watford to get few chances for a pop at goal.
Liverpool Under 2 Cards, Under 1 Watford Goal & Liverpool Win (6/4 Bet365)
Liverpool have seen fewer than two cards in nine of their 14 home games this campaign.
Watford have failed to score in five of their previous six meetings with Liverpool.
When Liverpool have played at home, they’ve won seven of the last eight meetings by an aggregate score of 23-2.
Liverpool’s Premier League matches don’t often see high numbers of cards, not because they’re a clean side but quite simply because, more often than not, their opponents cannot get close enough to them to put in a challenge. I don’t see Watford having enough of the ball to draw a challenge and given that Liverpool have the joint lowest card count this season, I don’t expect them to pick up two cards here.
The second part of the betbuilder is for Watford to not get on the scoresheet. As previously mentioned, I don’t think Watford will see enough of the ball and bar the odd game here and there, they have a horrendous scoring record against the Reds.
Historically, they don’t travel well to Anfield and I think Liverpool put in a professional performance and get the job done without conceding, as they have done in nearly 65% of their home games this season.
Finally, we just need Liverpool to win and there’s no need for too much explanation here. They’re far superior to this Watford side and they’re gunning for another title. Even if they’re missing some key players who might need rest after the internationals, they should canter to victory here.
Liverpool vs Watford – Watford Under 7.5 Shots (8/11 Unibet)
Liverpool vs Watford – Liverpool Under 2 Cards, Under 1 Watford Goal & Liverpool Win (6/4 Bet365)