Betting preview: Watford vs Liverpool - Red flags suggest scorer bets look best

An early kick-off time and some new manager ‘bounce’ for the hosts could make life difficult for Jurgen Klopp’s men on Saturday lunchtime.

Liverpool went into the latest international break on the back of two straight draws in the Premier League.

They held the lead a combined four times during those matches against Brentford and Manchester City so it was frustrating for the Reds to emerge with just two points.

However, title rivals have slipped up too and Liverpool return to Premier League action in second place.

And with seven matches gone, they're also the top-flight's only unbeaten side.

When, where and how to watch

When: Saturday, October 16, 12.30pm BST

Where: Vicarage Road

Follow this game via our score centre

Best bets

Mo Salah to score the first goal at 5/2

Ismaila Sarr to score anytime at 7/2

Liverpool to have Over 7.5 Corners at Evens

While Liverpool are back to the levels of a few seasons ago, Watford are also playing to type.

In their case, that means a change of manager yet again after deciding that seven points from seven games wasn't sufficient.

So, out went Xisco Munoz after less than 10 months - making him the sixth permanent appointee to leave the club since May 2017 - and in came the familiar face of Claudio Ranieri.

The 70-year-old left Sampdoria at the end of last season and now takes charge of a fourth different English club after previous stints at Chelsea, Fulham and, most famously, Leicester who he led to the title.

Last three meetings

Watford 3-0 Liverpool (Premier League - February 29, 2020)

The Reds came into the game on an amazing unbeaten league run of 44 games and an 18-game winning streak. Surely there could only be one outcome.

However, Watford ripped up the script and ended Liverpool's hopes of going through the campaign unbeaten.

Ismaila Sarr scored twice in six minutes (54 and 60) and Troy Deeney rubbed salt into the wounds with an excellent curling strike from the edge of the area after 72.

Still, the Merseysiders ended the day with a massive 22-point lead at the top.

Liverpool 2-0 Watford (Premier League - December 14, 2019)

At a windy Anfield, the Reds looked strangely out of sync for much of the first half until Mo Salah struck twice to keep them firmly on course for title glory.

The Egyptian curled a right-foot shot into the corner after 38 minutes but despite this being top vs bottom, Watford had their chances to equalise.

They couldn't take them and after Sadio Mane had a goal ruled out by VAR, Salah wrapped up the points with an impudent flick in the final minute to put Liverpool 10 points clear at the top.

Liverpool 5-0 Watford (Premier League - February 27, 2019)

A cruise for Liverpool, whose win took them a point clear of Manchester City in the title race.

Sadio Mane headed them in front after nine minutes and then added a second via an audacious backheel on 20.

Divock Origi cut inside to blast a third after 66 minutes before Virgil van Dijk added a pair of late headers (79 and 82).

It was quite a night for Trent Alexander-Arnold, the right-back setting up three of the five goals..

Last 10 meetings

Liverpool wins: 7

Draws: 1

Watford wins: 2

Liverpool goals: 27

Watford goals: 10

Liverpool should win but too many doubts to take short odds

Liverpool are just 1/3 with Planet Sport Bet to bank all three points, something they've done in seven of their last 10 games against the Hornets.

But you want everything in your favour at those prices and there are several warning signs.

Firstly, this is the slot that all the top Premier League bosses wanted to avoid: the early Saturday game after an international break.

A huge chunk of Liverpool's players have been scattered far and wide, including Brazilians Alisson and Fabinho, who surely won't get involved given that their game against Uruguay in Manaus started in the early hours of Friday morning UK time.

And Klopp has every reason to be concerned at the 12.30pm kick-off given that the Reds have won just six of 16 when playing early on Saturday.

Seven of those were draws.

In addition, it's fair to think Watford may enjoy some new manager 'bounce': that common phenomenon when players suddenly raise their game when a fresh face comes in.

And this isn't any old fresh face. It's Claudio Ranieri, who just happens to have won four of his five home games against Liverpool.

Claudio Ranieri is back in the Premier League

Put those warning signs together and the desire to back Liverpool diminishes even though their form this season suggests they should get it done.

Goalscorer bets

While Liverpool have thrown in a few draws of late to frustrate backers, those betting on Mo Salah have been collecting time after time.

Liverpool's Egyptian King has netted in each of his last seven starts for the Reds while he's scored five in four on the road this term.

Not only that, he has a fantastic record against Watford.

Salah's first Premier League goal came on his Liverpool debut at Vicarage Road and later in that 2017/18 season he netted four and set up the other in a 5-0 Anfield romp.

Two seasons ago he bagged a brace in a 2-0 home win and overall he has eight goals in six appearances against Watford.

He's bagged the opener in three of his last five games against them so I'll play the 5/2 for Salah to score the first goal.

Ismaila Sarr celebrates after scoring against Newcastle

For Watford, Sarr's double in this fixture two seasons ago puts him in the crosshairs and he comes even further into focus having already scored four times in the Premier League this season.

The Senegal star is 7/2 to score anytime and that's worth a go.

Corners bet appeals

I'll also play the corners market.

Before managing just three against Manchester City, Liverpool's corner count in their nine previous matches read: 11, 8, 12, 11, 15, 10, 8, 11, 4.

To land the even money this week, they have to register Over 7.5 corners - something they've managed in eight of their last 10 matches.

Trent Alexander-Arnold returns for the Reds

With Alexander-Arnold returning at right-back in place of stand-in James Milner, the visitors will have more thrust down the flanks and hopefully that translates to more corners.

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