Manchester City vs Watford preview, betting tips and predictions: History can be made at the Etihad

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This Manchester City side is different to almost any Premier League team ever. At this moment in time, having won 18 straight games in the league since August, before they travel to Crystal Palace, meaning if they win at Selhurst Park, they will be one game away from a new European record of successive victories. Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich won 19 in a row, and he will hope that his current City side can go one better at the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola has been piling the praise on his players for their mental strength more than anything. Any doubts he or the team have come up against have been answered and it is rather remarkable that they have been able to stretch to a 15-point lead at the top of the table during the Christmas period, the time of the season said to be the most challenging to potential title winners. It is now a question of the style they will be crowned in, rather than the fact they will or not.

Though Watford are a decent side, it is tough to see City not winning this game and Palace win permitting becoming record holders.

Form 

When Guardiola said what he did about his players’ attitudes, it was following a win at Newcastle on Wednesday. The Magpies, like every team City have faced, sat deep and tried to contain them. It didn’t stop the visitors creating countless chances but did restrict them to a 1-0 win. Not only keeping their focus during the festive period, but constantly adapting and playing through brick walls have been City’s best qualities in the last few weeks particularly. They have been so impressive that it only looks likely they will extend that huge gap to the chasing pack right now.

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Watford have really lacked form recently, failing to win for seven games following a crucial victory at St James’ Park against Newcastle in November. But they started so fast that they are still comfortably in midtable and a win over Leicester on Boxing Day will give them huge confidence, especially because they host Swansea at Vicarage Road before they begin 2018 with this very tough trip to Manchester. Having got the worst disciplinary record in the league, it will be crucial for Marco Silva’s men that they keep their discipline in this one.

Team News

Despite hobbling off just ten minutes into the Newcastle game, City skipper Vincent Kompany should be fit to feature in this game. Otherwise, Guardiola has no injury concerns other than Benjamin Mendy, who still faces months on the sidelines.

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Troy Deeney, the Watford captain, returns after a four-game ban for this game, but Kiko Femenia, Craig Cathcart and Nathaniel Chalobah are among those set to miss out through injury. Andre Gray will likely make way if Deeney starts in thid game.

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