Watford host title chasing Manchester City in the evening kickoff today, as the home side continue to impress under Quique Sanchez Flores. The Spaniard has steered the newly promoted Hornets to an impressive ninth position and lay just two points outside of the top five at the start of the day.
Having wiped the floor with Liverpool at Vicarage Road, the Hertfordshire side will be going in to today’s game with all the confidence in the world.
They will be looking to put the gut wrenching loss against Tottenham behind them this evening and will want to take advantage of a Manchester City who have suffered bouts of travel sickness this season.
The Etihad outfit have recorded NO wins in their last SIX away games, with three defeats and as many bore draws. However, they remain one of the top sides in the league and the plethora of attacking talent available to manager Manuel Pellegrini is the envy of most on the continent.
Star City striker Sergio Aguero is rightly one of the most feared marksman in the Premier League, though the Argentine has drawn a blank against 5 of the 28 different teams he’s faced in the competition.
That’s right, you guessed it, the Hornets are indeed one of them.
The aforementioned bouts of travel sickness that Man City seem to suffer are not without precedent, though it has been awhile since such misfortune (largely due to the money spent).
Should they fail to win today, they will have gone SEVEN successive Premier League away games without a win for the first time since September to December 2009.
Fans and pundits alike have waxed lyrical about just how well the Hornets are playing this season, and rightly so of course. However, it’s not been as smooth sailing as some might suggest and perhaps some Premier League teething problems still linger.
Watford have lot 4 games on their own turf this season, with only West Brom and relegation threatened Sunderland and Aston Villa having worse records.
The New Year tends to be a festive period for all, Manchester City especially. They have won their opening match of the new year in an impressive EIGHT of the last NINE season. The only exception was the 1-0 reversal to Sunderland on January 1st 2012.
No New Years Eve hangover for the City boys it seems.
Odion Ighalo has been one the success stories of the season so far, becoming the first ever Watford player to net in six games on the bounce and is already on 14 goals this term.
However, the Nigerian is close to yet ANOTHER record for the Hornets. Should he breach the City backline today, the 26-year old will equal Frank McPherson’ record of having netted in seven consecutive games in 1928-1929.
Manchester City are unbeaten against today’s opponents in their last EIGHT encounters. In fact, the visitors have been utterly dominant in that sequence, winning SIX of those games and drawing the other two.
To be fair to the home side however, this Premier League season is defying the form books time and time again.
Pablo Zabaleta, who has recently returned from injury, could make his 200th Premier League appearance for the Manchester giants this afternoon if selected as the starting right-back.
Should he do so, the Argentine would be the third of his nation to reach such a high game tally after Carlos Tevez and Fabricio Coloccini.