Premier League Betting Preview: Liverpool vs. Watford
The first Saturday lunchtime kick off in the Premier League sees Liverpool take on Watford in a match that the reds hope will start off a successful push for the title. Jurgen Klopp has progressed well with the Merseyside team since taking over. A fourth placed finish last year has seen the club return to the champions league for the first time in three years, and he will be hoping to challenge for first place this time around.
A key ingredient to Liverpool's success last year was star player Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian became the all time leading Brazilian goals corer in Premier League history last season, and his success has brought attention from across Europe. Barcelona have bid twice for the 25 year old, their second offer a huge £90m. However, Liverpool's owners have insisted that the player is not for sale, stating that "no offers will be considered" and assuring fans that "Philippe will remain a member of Liverpool Football Club when the summer window closes." Despite their strong stance Barcelona's interest has intensified, and as the player is set to miss the match again Watford with a back problem, speculation has been mounting over whether he will force an exit from the club. His absence could also leave them light upfront on Saturday, with Daniel Sturridge still to be assessed after suffering a thigh injury.
Watford's star striker Troy Deeney is also likely to miss the match as he recovers from groin surgery. The Hornets' captain scored ten goals last season to help the club avoid relegation, and it is likely that the club will miss his presence against a Liverpool team which has been widely criticized for its defence. Similarly to Jurgen Klopp, Watford's manager Marco Silva also had to issue a 'hands-off' statement about his star player, amidst attention from other premier league clubs. When asked about Deeney's future he said "Will Troy stay? Of course – he is our player, our captain, he's one player we hope to keep and he's important to us." Earlier this summer the club rejected a £20m bid from Leicester City.
Despite both team's lacking their best player, Sky Sports have made Liverpool favourites for a win at 11/17, while a Watford victory comes as 5/1. Liverpoool pair Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firminio are odds on to break the scoring first. Ladbrokes and Coral offer 9/2 for either of the strikers to break the deadlock.