Watford vs LiverpoolEnglish Premier League, KO: 12:30 Oct 16, 2021, Vicarage Road
CLAUDIO Ranieri could hardly have asked for a tougher opening test to his Watford tenure, as Liverpool visit Vicarage Road on Saturday lunchtime.
The managerial merry-go-round caught its first casualty of the English Premier League season during the international break, with Xisco Muñoz becoming the latest victim of the trigger-happy Pozzo regime.
It's not been a disastrous start to the campaign by any means for newly-promoted Watford (W2 D1 L4) but the Hornets hierarchy have decided to roll the dice for an eye-watering 14th time since taking control of the club in 2012.
New head coach Ranieri is perhaps most famous for the fairytale he wrote at Leicester and the Italian's magic wand may have to be relied upon to halt high-flying Liverpool.
The Reds are among the early front runners in the Premier League, winning four of their opening seven top-flight fixtures to keep pace with Chelsea at the top of the table.
That said, Liverpool's strong start to the season has been slowed by back-to-back draws with both Brentford and Man City, so Jurgen Klopp will be keen to see his side rediscover the winning feeling at Watford this weekend.
Watford famously ended Liverpool's lengthy unbeaten run in the Premier League two seasons ago but the same outcome on Saturday is a whopping 9/1 at SBK while the draw is also deemed unlikely at 9/2 (SBK) with the same firm.
Liverpool remain the only undefeated side in the Premier League so far and the bookies odds suggest that run will continue, with the Reds red-hot favourites at 4/11 with SBK
Mohamed Salah is arguably playing at the peak of his powers – which is saying something – and I'll happily snap up the 5/6 (BetVictor) on offer for the Liverpool superstar to get on the scoresheet on Saturday.
Salah continued his majestic run of form with an incredible solo goal in a barnstorming 2-2 draw with champions Manchester City before the international break.
That moment of brilliance means the excellent Egyptian has now scored in seven successive matches for the Reds, cementing his place in the Premier League's 100 club in the process.
What's more, Jurgen Klopp's sharpshooters have looked like their old selves in the early weeks of the campaign, scoring three or more goals in each of their five road trips across all competitions this term.
Such attacking prowess does not bode well for a Watford backline that have failed to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League this season.
With all things considered, the Liverpool talisman looks nicely priced to continue his hot-streak in front of goal at Vicarage Road this weekend.
I'll also dip into the team card market and take the 4/5 available with UniBet for Watford to receive two or more cards during this contest, a punt that would have paid out in each of the Hornets' three home games this season so far.
Watford are housed in second-place in the Premier League disciplinary standings with their 2.43 yellow card-per game average and their players should be eager to make an impression on new manager Ranieri.
This English Premier League match between Watford and Liverpool will be played on Oct 16, 2021 and kick off at 12:30. Check below for our tipsters best Watford vs Liverpool prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.