Man City vs. Watford Pick – EPL July 21

A huge showdown for Watford will unfold on Tuesday evening as they look to cling to their hopes of surviving relegation. Entering this match, they sit three points clear of the drop zone, with Aston Villa hot on their tails.

Watford enters this fixture knowing a win would all but secure their safety, especially with a better goal differential than Villa. The only problem is they’re playing Manchester City, arguably the most in-form side right now in all of Europe. While Pep Guardiola and his Man City side have nothing to play for aside from pride, they’ll be especially surly after bowing out of the FA Cup over the weekend. Man City wants to keep in form for their Champions League clashes next month, and Watford are standing in their way.

In a weird twist, one day before this clash, Watford surprisingly sacked their manager Nigel Pearson. He’s done well with limited resources with this side, and many pundits question the decision and the timing of it. It’s believed Watford U23 coach, Hayden Mullins will see out the season on the sideline. Quite the debut opposition for Mr. Mullins!

As we wind out another profitable Premier League season, please note we’ll have upcoming coverage of the MLS is Back playoffs and all Champions League action. For now though, we’ll see if Watford can pull off a shocker. Last time these teams met, it was Man City in an 8-0 rout. While it shouldn’t be that lopsided this time, it is clear that the stakes are much higher for Watford. Keep reading on beneath the odds for further game analysis and a betting prediction for Man City vs. Watford.

Manchester City vs. Watford Betting Odds:

Man City (-286)
Watford (+775)
Draw (+440)

Man City -1.5 (-109)
Watford +1.5 (-111)

Over 3.5 (+120)
Under 3.5 (-140)

*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag

Manchester City vs. Watford Pick:

In a huge match for the Hornets, it continues to be a shame that they are battling a significant injury bug. Gone will be Gerard Deulofeu, Daryl Janmaat, and Etienne Capoue, and instead new manager Mullins will have to dig into the depth of his squad to fill out the roster.

Watford will lineup in a 4-2-3-1 formation, knowing that Man City will possess much of the ball, the Hornet will seek to be flexible for counters. They are a hard-working side, and should be well-structured with new focus and a new manager at the helm. Up front, Watford to have the potential to catch City napping from the break. Ismaila Sarr is an elite wide player, while captain Troy Deeney is in fine form with his goal-scoring prowess.

The big wildcard entering this match will be what type of lineup Pep Guardiola puts out there. Following the 2-0 defeat to Arsenal last Saturday, you can bet there’s a sour taste in his mouth. Expect City’s strongest eleven, and the squad rotation can wait.

Look for Rodri to return to the midfield, playing a key role in winning balls and distributing to a talented trio of strikers up top. Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling, and Gabriel Jesus will strike fear into the Watford back-line, while the passing ability of Belgium’s Kevin de Bruyne from the midfield continues to impress.

Man CIty are an elite offensive side and should see upwards of 65% possession. Their expected goal metrics are very good since the restart, and it’s going to be tough for Watford to keep them out over a full 90-minute period.

A DEFENSIVE STRUGGLE LOOMS
Instead, I expect Watford to literally ‘park the bus’ on defense and play very defensive throughout. Their goal differential matters greatly when compared to Villa’s, and with a more winnable game on Sunday – they might take their chances for points on Sunday. Watford will likely be totally fine with a narrow defeat, but don’t want to lose by more than two and see their goal-differential advantage over Villa suffer as a result. After all, that will be the tiebreaker.

With a relatively demotivated City side, and a hyper-defensive Watford crew – looking at the Under might be the best bet for this clash. The Hornets will throw everyone behind the ball, clog passing lanes, and load the box – all in an attempt to keep City from scoring too much. With Hayden Mullins now at the helm, expect an inspired outing from the Hornets.

Pick: Man City 2-0

My Pick
Under 3.5
Will S. / Author

Will has been working with The Sports Geek since its early days back in 2010. He began as a soccer specialist, focusing on detailed reports for major international competitions, including the World Cup and European Championships. Since then, he has produced weekly pick articles on both the NFL and English Premier League, while also contributing blog posts on the NHL, MLB, and even WWE wrestling. Will is also an avid sports bettor and daily fantasy player, always eager to share his thoughts and insight on anything going on in the world of sports.