Betting preview: Watford vs Manchester City - Visitors will be too strong for Hornets again

Pep Guardiola’s men have an incredible record against Watford and two of their attacking threats can net in another away win at Vicarage Road.

Manchester City remain odds-on title favourites after a 2-1 victory at Aston Villa on Wednesday night despite many viewing Chelsea and Liverpool as equally strong candidates.

City's win came courtesy of a well-struck effort from Rueben Dias and an absolute worldie from Bernardo Silva, although Ollie Watkins' early response in the second half meant Pep Guardiola could never rest until the final whistle went.

On the same night, Watford were frustrated that their impressive display wasn't good enough to earn anything against Chelsea.

Even Blues boss Thomas Tuchel admitted the visitors were lucky to emerge with a 2-1 win.

When: Saturday, December 4, 17.30 GMT

Where: Vicarage Road

Follow this game via our score centre

Best bets for Watford vs Manchester City

Man City to win and both teams to score at 17/10

Bernardo Silva to score at 17/10

Raheem Sterling to score first at 15/4

City go into their second away match in four days on 32 points after 14 games.

That's one point behind leaders Chelsea and one in front of third-placed Liverpool, the trio some way clear of the rest.

Pep's men have been just as effective on the road as at the Etihad this season.

Their home and away records are identical - won five, drawn one, lost one - but, of course, they're a bigger price than they would be if this game was being played in Manchester.

That said, they're still massive 1/6 favourites to bank three more points which seems somewhat disparaging of Watford's chances.

True, they've lost five of their seven games since Claudio Ranieri took over but that's a simplistic way of looking at it.

Claudio Ranieri has made Watford competitive

As well as impressive wins over Everton (5-2 away) and Manchester United (4-1) at home, Watford have suffered single-goal defeats to Southampton (h), Arsenal (a) and Chelsea (h). They were also 3-2 down with just under 30 minutes to play at Leicester before losing 4-2.

In other words, they've been competitive. Quotes of 14/1 about a Watford win and 6/1 for the draw certainly look big.

The obvious negative is that the hosts are running into a City side on one of their winning streaks.

It's now six in a row for the Citizens, the two away wins in that sequence coming at Old Trafford and Villa Park.

Oh, there's also another negative: the little matter of Watford having lost their last three games to City via a remarkable aggregate of 18-0!

Last three meetings

Watford 0-4 Man City (July 21, 2020)

Two goals in each half saw City stroll to an easy win and left Watford in the relegation zone with just one match to play. They didn't escape.

Raheem Sterling thumped the visitors into a 31st-minute lead and added a second nine minutes later after being quickest to the rebound when his penalty was saved.

Phil Foden added a third on 63 and Aymeric Laporte headed in a fourth from Kevin de Bruyne's cross soon after, although City were playing for pride really given that Liverpool had already wrapped up the title.

Man City 8-0 Watford (September 21, 2019)

With Liverpool starting the campaign with five straight wins, City ran riot to show the Reds that they wouldn't be giving up their title easily.

The hosts made an astonishing start, blasting home five goals in the first 18 minutes. There were five different scorers: David Silva (52 seconds), Sergio Aguero (7) from the spot, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva (15) and defender Nicolas Otamendi (18).

Bernardo Silva went on to complete a hat-trick with further strikes on 48 and 60 to make it 7-0 before De Bruyne added an eighth five minutes from time.

It was City's biggest ever top-flight win and Watford's heaviest defeat in the top four tiers of English soccer.

Man City 6-0 Watford (May 18, 2019)

City completed a historic domestic treble by racking up the biggest FA Cup final win since Bury beat Derby 6-0 in 1903.

Already winners of the Premier League and Carabao Cup, Guardiola's side started slowly but then went into a different gear after David Silva netted in the 26th minute.

Gabriel Jesus scored twice (38, 68) either side of De Bruyne's 61st-minute effort and Sterling added to Watford's embarrassment with a brace of his own on 81 and 87 to complete the most one-sided final in over a century.

Past 10 meetings

Man City wins: 10

Draws: 0

Watford wins: 0

Man City goals: 41

Watford goals: 4

Watford threat can give City price a serious boost

As the above stats show, City have averaged 4.1 goals per match in those 10 straight victories over the Hornets.

Wind further back and it's actually 13 straight wins for the men in sky blue, a run which started in 2013.

City's last four trips to Vicarage Road have seen them rack up wins of 4-0, 2-1, 6-0 and 5-0 so will it be another thrashing or something more along the lines of that 2-1 win in December 2018?

Watford certainly impressed against Chelsea so may not be the pushovers that many think.

But it's hard to get away from the idea that this will be another routine three points for City, giving them a sixth Premier League away win out of eight.

Pep Guardiola can watch his side win three more points

They're not a realistic betting proposition at just 1/6 so the obvious next port of call is the handicap market.

City (-1) is 2/5 and City (-2) 7/5 so the visitors would have to win by three or more goals to secure an odds-against price.

City win to nil is more palatable at 17/20. That would have landed in their last three games against Watford although the hosts have netted seven times in their latest three outings so do have goals in them.

Therefore, I'll try the Man City win and both teams to score option at 17/10.

Goalscorer bets for Watford vs Manchester City

City have already secured top spot in their Champions League group after four wins and a defeat so Pep has the chance to shuffle his pack for Tuesday's trip to RB Leipzig.

That gives him the chance to go strong here which suggests he'll give another start to the bang in-form Bernardo Silva.

The Portuguese star is City's top scorer in the Premier League this season with five and that tally includes three in the last four. In addition, five of his six goals for club and country have come on the road.

He also scored a hat-trick against Watford in that 8-0 romp two seasons ago so let's back a Silva anytime goal at 17/10.

Raheem Sterling has a ridiculous record against Watford, racking up nine goals in his last five starts against them.

Raheem Sterling can't stop scoring against Watford

The England man seems to be back in favour and has rewarded his manager with three goals in his last five City games.

He's even money to slot one in again but I'll take the 15/4 on Sterling bagging the opener, something he did the last time this fixture was played at Watford in July of last year.

The winger also scored in the very first minute against Watford in a 3-1 win in 2018.

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