The first Gameday of 2016 is about to kick off as Manchester City are travelling to Vicarage Road to face Watford, which have had a surprising season so far, sitting on 9th on the table after 19 weeks. The Citizens, who are trying to stay close to the leaders [Arsenal and Leicester City] are also looking to end their negative of 6 winless away games.
January 2, 2016 • 17:30 • Vicarage Road Stadium, Watford
Referee: M. Atkinson
Watford vs Manchester City Live Streams
The Hornets have been on a good form lately despite loosing last week at home against Tottenham, as they find themselves in a comfortable position, 9 with 29 points – just 2 points away from the 5th position. Watford was running on a good form before the boxing day, winning in 4 consecutive games , where the most surprising one was against Liverpool 3-0 at home. The newly promoted side have started the season with the goal the stay away from relegation , but right now they should think about the European qualification since they are only 2 points away from the 5th place.
Quique Sanchez Flores, Watford manager:
“The difference between the Manchester City in August, in August this team was completely difficult to stop it. They didn’t concede in this moment any goals, they were scoring a lot of goals in this moment. In this moment, we try to adapt to the category (division), we are building the team, just two months training together. Now it’s a little bit different because we can try against different big teams. We know now that we can (be) competitive against Arsenal, against United, against Liverpool, against Tottenham so in terms of the confidence we are a little bit (more) power with respect to the first leg.”
Watford fans will have eyes on Odion Ighalo, who has been a key player for The Hornets and one of the best performers of Premier League this season. The striker has found the net 14 times so far, only 1 goal less than Lukaku or Jamie Vardy.
Meanwhile, Manchester City so far are not having the season they were expecting since they stand 3rd on the Premier League standings and also failed to win a match away from Etihad Stadium since September. The Citizens have another “negative record” since without Vincent Kompany they’ve failed to keep a clean sheet, and with Inghalo who is on fire they’ll have it difficult to avoid it.
Manuel Pellegrini, Manchester City manager (about their position at the halfway mark in the season):
“Yes of course we are in a good position. Always the best position is to be at the top of the table, but I think this season is a special Premier League. Maybe with the amount of points we have in this moment it’s not good to try to fight for the title in a normal season when you finish normally 56, 55, 53 points in front. But now just three points behind the leaders I think it’s an expected position. I hope we are going to complete a very good second part to the season.”
Good news for Pellegrini as Sergio Aguero is fit after missing on a long-term cause of injuries. Anyway despite missing their main striker, they haven’t had much problems in attack since alongside Leicester City they’re the team to have scored more goals  so far. The major problem for Manuel Pellegrini has been the defense, the copy of Mangala – Otamendi has failed to replace the injured Kompany , since they’ve failed to maintain a single clean sheet without Belgian defender on the field.
There are not much changes expected on the lineups for both sides. Quique Flores will miss the full back, Nathan Ake – who’s will serve to his ban of 3 matches.The former Roma defender, Jose Holebas is the favourite to take his place. On the other side, Pellegrini has announced that he will travel without Clichy to Watford, as the full back joins Samir Nasri and Vincent Kompany on the sidelines and as Kun Aguero set to return, he will take Bony’s place as predicted.
Possible lineups :
Watford XI (4-2-3-1): Gomes; Nyom, Prodl, Britos, Holebas; Capoue, Watson; Abdi, Deeney, Jurado; Ighalo
Manchester City XI (4-2-3-1): Hart; Zabaleta, Otamendi, Mangala, Clichy; Fernandinho, Toure; De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling; Aguero