Watford vs Manchester CityEnglish Premier League, KO: 18:00 Jul 21, 2020, Vicarage Road
WATFORD have been plunged into crisis by the baffling decision to sack Nigel Pearson and should see their relegation worries deepen against a wounded Manchester City side.
On Sunday, Pearson became the third Hornets manager to be binned this season, following Javi Gracia and Quique Sanchez Flores out of the exit door at Vicarage Road.
It came with Watford sitting three points above the drop zone with just two games to go so the timing of his departure is quite incredible. Victory at West Ham in their last game would have sealed survival but they crashed 3-1 in a match where all three of my tips came up.
And it looks like they will now have to depend on either Bournemouth or Aston Villa failing to gather enough points as the Hornets face a daunting run-in against City and Arsenal.
It's hard to see them getting anything against Pep Guardiola's men who will be desperate to bounce back from their shock FA Cup semi-final defeat to the Gunners.
I fancied City to win that game but Mikel Arteta's men hit them with two KO blows on the break and managed to hold firm for once at the back.
That leaves just the Champions League to play for this season for the Etihad giants and Guardiola will demand a response here as they look to stay sharp ahead of their date with Real Madrid.
How the bookies view it
It's no surprise to see Watford as rank outsiders here at 17/2 with BetVictor while the draw is also pretty big at 5/1 with Bet365. Manchester City's best price is 10/29 with SportNation but the odds increase to 13/8 at Betfred if you double it with both teams to score.
Guardiola's side have conceded in their last two games to Bournemouth and Arsenal so could ship another here, especially with Watford having scored in their last three matches.
Recent head to head
Watford fans must shudder when they see this match on the fixture list as they have lost their last 12 games against Manchester City. In the last two meetings alone, the aggregate score is 14-0, with City winning 8-0 at the Etihad earlier this season after thumping the Hornets 6-0 in the 2019 FA Cup Final (below).
A 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road in 2007 was the last time they avoided defeat and Watford's last win over City came way back in 1989 in the old Second Division.
Players to watch
Troy Deeney scored Watford's consolation against West Ham to make it three goals in two games. The Hornets skipper is 13/5 with 888Sport to add another to his tally against City.
Guardiola's forwards had an off-night in the FA Cup semi but the 6/5 on offer at BetVictor for Gabriel Jesus to score here looks great value. The Brazilian netted twice against Watford in that cup final romp and is 6/1 with the same firm to grab two or more in this match.
Anything else catch the eye?
Given what happened in Watford's last two games against City it could pay to back some goals for Guardiola's side. They are evens with Bet365 to score over 2.5 goals while over 3.5 strikes pays 5/2 with the same firm.
Backing Manchester City to score in both halves also appeals at 17/20 with William Hill and they are 10/3 with Bet365 to score from a penalty, which came up in the last game between these sides.
This English Premier League match between Watford and Manchester City will be played on Jul 21, 2020 and kick off at 18:00. Check below for our tipsters best Watford vs Manchester City prediction.