Manchester City travel to high-flying Watford in the Premier League on Saturday, January 2, as the Citizens look to keep in touch with Leicester City and Arsenal at the top of the table. The Citizens have had a woeful away record in the first half of the season, having failed to win in any of their travels since September.
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off is set for 5:30pm GMT. Live coverage of the game will be on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD. Highlights of the game will be available on BBC Match of the Day at 10:30pm GMT on BBC One.
Watford have been in brilliant form over the past few weeks, taking 12 points from a possible 21 in their last seven games in the league. The run includes three wins, three draws and one loss, which came against Tottenham in a controversial fashion when Son Heung-min scored the winner late into the second half from a position which was otherwise deemed offside.
The Hornets are currently 12 points clear of the bottom three and only a point behind Manchester United and Liverpool, which can be deemed as a major achievement in only their first season in the Premier League. Their resurgence has been headed by the form of Odion Ighalo, who has scored 14 Premier league goals this campaign, bettered only by Jamie Vardy and Romelu Lukaku in the English top flight.
Meanwhile, Manchester City have not won an away game without Vincent Kompany in the side, with the Belgian out for yet another month with a calf problem he picked up against Sunderland. The City captain could only manage nine minutes on the pitch following his comeback, dealing another blow to Manuel Pellegrini's hopes of securing his second league title in three years.
They come into the game on the back of a 0-0 draw with second placed Leicester City, with Sergio Aguero still feeling his way back into action after recovering from an injury. Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi have thus far failed to manage a decent partnership at the back, something which was evident against Arsenal at the Emirates. However, Pellegrini will be hoping that his team can repeat their performance when the two teams met in August, where the Citizens emerged victorious with a 2-0 win.
What Managers Say
Quique Sanchez Flores: "Pellegrini will not be worried about that [Guardiola]. I love how he manages the team. You need to accept sometimes that your period is finished and another period is coming. You can't do anything. You can manage a team and the rumours say it's a done deal or the coach is coming. Accept the situation, be confident to transmit to the players you are a good professional, so you can keep focus on the team, and for sure Pellegrini now is thinking about winning the Premier League. He has experience and he can live perfectly well with this kind of situation. That's football and sometimes it happens to a coach or manager."
Manuel Pellegrini: "The players don't have to be in bed my midnight. All of them must celebrate seeing in the New Year, but I think they can do it early — maximum one o'clock. Of course, if we don't win away games we must improve. But for me the best thing from the last game at Leicester (0-0) was not the clean sheet but that we continued playing the same way as we had done in the previous two matches. We didn't win against Arsenal but I don't think we played a bad game. We played very well against Sunderland and also against Leicester. I think we are in the correct way."
Betting Odds (888Sport)
- Watford Win: 43/10
- Draw: 41/13
- Manchester City Win: 13/19
Possible XI: Gomes; Anya, Cathcart, Britos, Holebas; Jurado, Capoue, Behrami, Abdi; Deeney, Ighalo
Possible XI: Hart; Sagna, Otamendi, Mangala, Kolarov; Toure, Fernandinho; De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling; Aguero