Watford vs Manchester City preview, betting tips and predictions: City could find it tough against resilient Hornet

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Man City win and Gabriel Jesus FGS @ 3/1 with Coral

Draw in both halves @ 8/1 with Coral

Man City win and BTTS @ 13/8 with Coral

Marco Silva made a great impact at Hull when appointed in January, but his work at Watford as arguably made greater ripples through the Premier League. After four games, they are fourth in the table and unbeaten with two wins and two draws, two points and two places behind Saturday’s opponents Manchester City.

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Victory could, theoretically, see them go top. City hit five on their last visit to Vicarage Road on the final day of last season, but the team they will face this weekend are much better on paper and in a much better place mentally. Silva, who has lost just twice on his own patch in three years, has drilled them defensively and that organisation has seen them keep four clean sheets so far. Going forward, too, Watford are a threat with Andre Gray, who is yet to score up front, supported by Richarlison and Nathaniel Chalobah in midfield. Goals are a given when City are in town, but there is a reason the draw is such a good option at 17/4 or 8/1 in both halves with Coral.

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But Gabriel Jesus now has three goals to his name this season, including two in the 5-0 demolition of Liverpool last week. Although the sending off of Sadio Mane, which stretched an already shaky defence and pushed back a sharp attack from the visitors, helped Pep Guardiola’s side they were typically ruthless, overpowering the Reds at every turn. In the Bournemouth game, they had to be more patient but still took the chances when they arrived. Watford will get chances though, because City play such a high line with only one holding midfield player. This could be a real tactical test for Guardiola.

Key battle: Nathaniel Chalobah vs Kevin de Bruyne 

Kevin de Bruyne’s role at City this season has been an interesting development. The Belgian has dropped into play closer to Fernandinho at the base of midfield, pulling the strings as he did against Liverpool. Chalobah has been excellent for Watford this season, making powerful runs from midfield and making his presence known.

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Both players are key to their sides gaining control of the match in different ways. De Bruyne will be afforded more freedom, but Chalobah could put City on the back foot and with their lack of defensive cover that could open the game up. This battle will be key in who gets the upper hand from the start.

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