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TEAM NEWS: Man City vs Watford

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 1,169

Pin Guardiola's Man City side lost 4-2 to Leicester at the weekend. Goal
Guardiola's Man City side lost 4-2 to Leicester at the weekend. Goal

TEAM NEWS: Man City vs Watford

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 1,169

Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

Manchester City will need to win their first Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium since September if they are to keep in touch with their title rivals over the Christmas period.

City are seven points behind leaders Chelsea following back-to-back league defeats and they welcome Watford next up.

Pep Guardiola's side have been heavily criticised following their often shambolic performance against Leicester City at the weekend but they have an opportunity to put a more positive spin on their recent results by dominating a home game and picking up three points.

The Blues created more than enough chances to have beaten Everton, Middlesbrough, Chelsea and, to a lesser extent, Southampton, but they have taken just three points from a possible 12.

MAN CITY INJURIES

Raheem Sterling is likely to return to the starting line-up after recovering from a knee injury to come off the bench at Leicester at the weekend.

Vincent Kompany is definitely out with a knee injury, while Fabian Delph, yet again, is said to be progressing well following a groin injury but is unlikely to feature.

MAN CITY SUSPENSIONS

City are still without Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero, who received straight red cards against Chelsea. Aleksandar Kolarov is on four bookings and will receive a one-match ban if he picks up another before January 1 (the Premier League has an amnesty on December 31, the day City play Liverpool).

Watford have no suspensions but Miguel Britos and Troy Deeney are each on four yellows.

MAN CITY POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP

Guardiola will have a decision to make with his defence, as it has been too easily opened up in recent weeks. Nicolas Otamendi returns from suspension but there is an argument to be made that City's youngsters should be given a chance to learn Guardiola's system, given the senior options do not seem to grasp it and many will leave the club at the end of the season anyway.

Guardiola has chosen to start with a back three against mid-table opposition and although it yielded those three draws with Everton, Southampton and Middlesbrough the City boss is likely to stick to his guns.

The approach means City have an extra man in midfield and will be able to dominate the play, but their issue has been converting the chances they have created.

With Aguero still out, Guardiola may try another option up front rather than start Kelechi Iheanacho. The young Nigerian did not trouble the Leicester defence at the weekend and although City will create more chances on home soil, Guardiola could start the game as he finished at the King Power Stadium: with another attacking midfielder up front.

Leroy Sane has struggled in the line-up recently but could be charged with opening up the Hornets in what should be seen as a winnable home game.

Yaya Toure will still be involved after he accepted a drink-drive charge on Monday.

WATFORD DOSSIER

Watford are seventh in the Premier League but that is thanks largely to their home form. Since losing their first two home games of the season against Arsenal and Chelsea, they have gone on a run of four wins from six.

Their record on the road, however, is less impressive: they have won two of seven, and have conceded nine in their last two outings.

The Hornets have no major injury concerns or suspensions, and will welcome back Roberto Pereyra from a ban. Britos and Valon Behrami also returned from suspension at the weekend and should continue in the team, although the latter did throw up on the pitch as a result of flu. 

Daryl Janmaat could return to the starting line-up at right-back after coming on as a second-half substitute in Saturday's victory against Everton.

Striker Troy Deeney has not scored since October 1, though Stefano Okaka scored twice at the weekend, his first goals of the season.

BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS

Pep Guardiola has seen his side concede three or more goals in consecutive league games for the very first time as a manager.

Manchester City have won just three of their seven Premier League home games this season (W3 D3 L1) – they have won double this number away from home (6).

Watford have conceded nine goals and allowed their opponents 20 shots on target in their last two Premier League away matches.

Over half (12) of the last 22 goals that Watford have conceded in the Premier League have come following an opposition cross.

All seven of the previous goals scored in this fixture in the Premier League have arrived after half-time. Watford’s last league win over Manchester City came in a second tier clash in March 1989 (D2 L4 since). TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME

The game kicks off at 20:00 UK time on Wednesday, December 14, and is not available on TV in the UK.

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