Watford v Liverpool: back to full throttle?

Wahoooooo, goodbye international boredom, hello proper football. Yes thankfully normal service is about to resume and for us that means beating Watford in their own back yard this Saturday.

Can we? you bet we can, will we? I think so yes. Discuss. Okay I suppose I should try to flesh things out a little but I apologise in advance for not being well versed when it comes to in-depth football analysis. This will be things from a layman's point of view.
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First off let's consider who's likely to take part: Henderson and Keita are both doubts. Henderson after aggravating his recent hamstring injury playing for England - what an utterly predictable and avoidable situation, and Keita because he's not long been back from injury himself and also took part in international duties; playing a full ninety minutes for his home country Guinea.

Other than that I believe things are unchanged injury wise for LFC and general fitness is more the concern. Milner has at times looked to be in need of a rest and Lallana has most definitely not looked to be fully up to speed after returning from his long term injury.

We've other players too such as Robertson (hope you saw his video on our homepage Jock;) who are covering a whole lot of ground in a whole lot of games including the accursed internationals and now they return back to a relentless two games a week schedule. So with the busy Christmas period also looming large we will be living with the constant concern of fitness, fatigue and injury worries.

Watford as far as I can see have four or so players continuing to suffer long term injuries but they will be used to those guys missing and other than that they appear to have no new injury concerns. In fact they've had some good news, in that three whole years after signing him, Venezuelan, Adalberto Penaranda, Watford's 21 year old apparent striking prodigy, has finally been given a work permit. He's also been given a new five year contract and is now cleared to play first team football. Including against us this Saturday.

Tactics wise it's very simple: we need to score more goals than Watford do. Looking at the EPL table you can see that Watford are running at more or less one goal conceded for every goal scored. With a goals scored figure of 17 though, they are not a million miles from our 23. Clearly then they carry a goal threat and we will need to continue our excellent work in defence.

Watford appear to play a 4-2-2-2 which you can see along with their predicted line-up here. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to see that as quite a narrow set up and while I'm sure those banks of two regularly merge to make fours it seems likely that our fullbacks can cause them some problems.

So that is how we will win it then - Robbo and TAA flying down the wings and whipping crosses in for our traditional striker, which we don't have, to stick in the back of Watford's net. Well we do have Sturridge so perhaps he will start. If not though then I think we will see all four of our first choice attacking midfielders take to the pitch, namely Mo, Mane, Bobby and Shaqy.

That then, working on the assumptions the defence picks itself and we're going 4-2-3-1, which I think we should, just leaves us with the central midfield conundrum. If fit might it be Henderson and Keita to make the midfield pairing? - not enough for defensive duties. Gini and Fabino then, nope now we've gone too far in that direction. The best balance I feel is going to be one of either Milner, Henderson or Keita, paired with one of either Gini or Fabinho.

My guess and hope for this Saturday is that it will be a Gini/Keita combo starting the game which would give us the following line-up and every reason to anticipate a much needed return to our full throttling ways. The result of which: a comfortable 0-4 victory.

Predicted-Watford-v-Liverpool-line-up
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