Manchester City vs Watford Premier League LIVE Football Score 23/04/2022
Manchester City will be looking to move four points clear at the top of the Premier League table when they welcome Watford to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Citizens will enter the contest off the back of a 3-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday, while Watford suffered a 2-1 loss to Brentford in their last match on April 16. Man City returned to the top of the Premier League table on Wednesday evening courtesy of a 3-0 success over Brighton, with Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva on the scoresheet in the second period.
The Citizens are again one point clear of second-placed Liverpool and will have the chance to move four points clear on Saturday, as Liverpool are not in action until Sunday, when they face Everton in the Merseyside derby. Pep Guardiola’s side lost to Liverpool in the semi-finals of the FA Cup last weekend, so they are now fighting on just two fronts, aiming for success in the Premier League and Champions League, and Real Madrid will visit the Etihad Stadium for the first leg of their European Cup semi-final next week.
Man City will then take on Leeds United at the end of April before travelling to Real Madrid for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final, and it will be fascinating to see how the campaign finishes, as the club could win two trophies, one or potentially zero, with Liverpool aiming for a quadruple. The Citizens have been strong in front of their own supporters in the league this season, picking up 38 points from 16 matches, but Watford have actually been much better away from home than at Vicarage Road, with 15 of their 22 points coming on their travels this term.
Watford are far from down and out, but there is no getting away from the fact that something special will need to happen in the final weeks of the campaign if they are to survive.
The Hornets are currently 19th in the table, seven points behind 17th-placed Everton, who have a game in hand, but they have some winnable matches coming up.
Indeed, Roy Hodgson’s side have a gigantic home game against Burnley at the end of the month before taking on Crystal Palace and Everton in back-to-back fixtures, while their final two matches of the campaign are against Leicester City and Chelsea.
Watford picked up an impressive three points away to Southampton on March 13 but have lost their last three league matches against Liverpool, Leeds United and Brentford, conceding seven times in the process.
The Hornets have also lost each of their last 14 games against Man City in all competitions, including a 3-1 defeat in the reverse match at Vicarage Road earlier this season.
Man City are again likely to be without Kyle Walker due to an ankle problem, while John Stones and Nathan Ake both picked up issues during the clash with Brighton on Wednesday.
Neither problem is believed to be serious, but Guardiola will not want to take any risks with the pair at such a key stage of the season, so there could be a return to the XI for Ruben Dias, who featured off the bench against Brighton, having now recovered from injury.
Guardiola will have one eye on the clash with Real Madrid, so it would not be a surprise to see a number of changes to the team for this match, with Fernandinho, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko potentially coming into the side.
As for Watford, Cucho Hernandez, Samuel Kalu and Francisco Sierralta are still unavailable for selection, but William Troost-Ekong has now returned to full training.
There are unlikely to be any surprises in the away side’s XI on Saturday afternoon, with Emmanuel Dennis, Joao Pedro and Ismaila Sarr set to feature in the final third of the field.
Tom Cleverley and Joshua King are among the players pushing for spots in the side, but it could ultimately be same team that took to the field for the first whistle against Brentford last time out.
Five more rounds of fixtures remain for the 2021/22 Premier League season to end, and the fight for the title is going down to the wire. The relegation battle is just as interesting, and the two worlds will collide on Saturday afternoon when Manchester City and Watford face off at the Etihad.
By this time of the season, one trophy tends to be in Manchester City’s cabinet. But things are different in 2021/22, with Liverpool winning the Carabao Cup instead. The Citizens are also out of the FA Cup, but they remain in contention to win the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League.
Pep Guardiola’s men have slipped up in domestic football in 2022, squandering what should have been an unassailable eight-point advantage over Liverpool. But Manchester City and Liverpool are separated by just one point heading into the season’s business end, with the reigning champions arguably having a kinder run-in.
On the other hand, Watford’s 2021/22 campaign has been mired in the relegation dogfight from the onset. The Hornets are fighting for their lives in the Premier League, but safety looks highly unlikely, with 17th-placed Everton seven points clear. So Watford will likely need a miracle to escape from the drop zone before the season ends.
Manchester City ran out 3-1 winners in the reverse fixture, with Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva on target, while Cucho Hernandez scored the consolation goal for Watford. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.
Pep Guardiola has a couple of injury concerns hampering his preparations ahead of the visit of Watford. On Saturday, the Manchester City manager could be bereft of the services of three first-team players due to minor issues.
Kyle Walker (ankle) remains on his road to recovery, while John Stones (knock) and Nathan Ake (foot) picked up minor issues earlier this week against Brighton & Hove Albion. But the good news is that the trio could be available to take on Watford, with the Manchester City medical team set to take a late call on their involvement.
However, Walker will unlikely feature for Manchester City even if he is available, as Guardiola illustrated perfectly by easing Ruben Dias back into the thick of the action. With the game against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League holding more importance, Walker will come off the bench against Watford to build his fitness.