A run of four straight-wins has enabled Watford to rise high in the table. After struggling to score in the earlier stages of the season, Watford are now scoring freely thanks to the presence of Odion Ighalo. The Nigerian striker is even beginning to make people forget about the incredible form of Jamie Vardy this season.
In the reverse of this fixture, Man City beat Watford 2-0 in August. Since then, however, Man City have been wildly inconsistent. While the Citizens have been able to still win games at home, they have badly struggled away. At present, there are few more unpleasant games to play than Watford away.
This time around, Man City will face a much sterner test from Watford. In December, Watford displayed excellent defensive solidarity in keeping three clean sheets. Meanwhile, they were able to improve their goal-scoring average to at least two goals a game. This has enabled them to improve their winning record after a slow start to the season.
Watford are currently entirely dependent on the striking partnership of Ighalo and Troy Deeney, with the latter performing the tough work that allows for Ighalo to score so many goals. The Hornets have to keep both players injury-free if they are to make a play for one of the Europa League places.
Man City had been able to name club captain Vincent Kompany to the subs’ bench for their 4-1 win against Sunderland, but the Belgian centre-back is again struggling with injury. Combine this with the fact that Manuel Pellegrini is sticking with Yaya Touré as a central midfielder and this leaves the Citizens vulnerable to giving up points against a strong Watford side.
Tip one: Watford or draw @ 2.20 with Betfair
Tip two: Over 2.5 goals @ 1.72 with Betfair
The packed festive schedule can cause some unexpected results, which is why it makes sense to cover the risk by backing Watford or draw at 2.20 with Betfair. Man City have been terrible away from home and are constantly conceding goals without Kompany in the first XI.