The Reds can move to the top of the table with a win, having entered the international break off the back of a thrilling 2-2 draw with champions Man City. But Jurgen Klopp’s side will meet the Hornets eager to impress their new manager, Claudio Ranieri, who replaced Xisco Munoz last week.
A win for the hosts will take them seven points clear of the relegation zone, while they will also hope to take confidence from the last time they hosted the Merseysiders in the league, which ended a 44-game unbeaten run thanks to a double from Ismaila Sarr and one from Troy Deeney.
Klopp has been discussing the Saudi Arabia-backed takeover of Newcastle and how it will impact the Reds and the rest of the league, stating the Magpies could emerge as a “superpower”: “I actually was waiting for some official statements about it. Like from Richard Masters or somebody else. We all know there are obviously some concerns over human rights issues. That’s clear. We all think the same there.
“Newcastle fans will love it but for the rest of us it just means there is a new superpower in Newcastle. We cannot avoid that. Money cannot buy everything but over time they will have enough money to make a few wrong decisions, then make the right decisions, and then they will be where they want to be in the long term. In five, six, seven years’ time, if the owners are patient enough, Newcastle is a new superpower and they will have enough money to buy the whole league.”
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Line-ups – Watford vs Liverpool
Michael Jones16 October 2021 11:30
Ranieri has steel behind the smile to thrive under Watford’s ruthless regime
Claudio Ranieri pulled off one of the great feats of the past 20 years when he led Leicester City to the Premier League title. Five clubs and half a decade on, he begins a new phase in his career when Watford face Liverpool at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
This seems an odd marriage. Ranieri turns 70 next week and has a peripatetic history – this is his 22nd job in management. Watford have parted company with eight managers since Leicester sealed their Premier League win. It is not hard to conceive that the Italian will no longer be in control in Hertfordshire in May. At Watford, the beginning of the end starts right at the beginning.
Aside from Pep Guardiola, Ranieri and Jurgen Klopp are the only two managers in the top flight who can boast about winning the league in England. Ranieri was sacked by Leicester nine months after the club’s greatest success. One day they will build a statue at Anfield to Klopp. The German’s legacy is secure. Ranieri’s is forever fated to be seen as avuncular but slightly lightweight, an image likely to be endorsed by this spell at Watford.
Jack Rathborn16 October 2021 11:25
‘I’ve changed’: Watford boss Ranieri says he has evolved with experience
Two of those have been in England famously guiding Leicester to the title in 2016 and then a short stay at Fulham in 2019.
Jack Rathborn16 October 2021 11:20
Recent results – Watford vs Liverpool
Watford come into this game 15th in the Premier League table with just one win in their last six league matches. Last time out they were outplayed by Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United and an 18th minute goal from Diego Llorente was enough to see the Whites to victory.
Liverpool meanwhile were twice pegged back by Manchester City as their last match before the international break ended 2-2 at Anfield. Four second half goals saw Sadio Mane put the Reds in front before Phil Foden capped off a very good individual performance with an equaliser. Mo Salah sent Liverpool back in front with 15 minutes to play but Kevin De Bruyne rescued a point for City five minutes later.
That draw leaves Liverpool in second place, one point behind Chelsea, but they can regain top spot with a win over Watford today. At least for a few hours until Chelsea take on Brentford at 5:30pm.
Michael Jones16 October 2021 11:17
Early team news – Watford vs Liverpool
New Watford manager Claudio Ranieri was given a boost as forward Joshua King has recovered from a minor knee ligament injury but this game against Liverpool may come too soon for his return.
Definitely missing are Francisco Sierralta and Christian Kabasele who both picked up hamstring injuries in the defeat to Leeds.
Jurgen Klopp will have to do without Brazilian pair Alisson and Fabinho as they will be flying straight from international duty to Madrid for the Reds Champions League match against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.
Curtis Jones and Thiago Alcantara are out but Diogo Jota and Trent Alexander-Arnold are fit to return.
Michael Jones16 October 2021 11:13
Salah only focused on winning at Liverpool amid contract speculation
Over the last month there has been a lot of debate about Salah’s contract situation as he has yet to follow the example of a number of senior players this year and sign an extension to a deal which expires in the summer of 2023.
Reports suggest the stumbling block is the Egypt international’s wages, with claims that Salah looking for £300,000-a-week-plus so he can have parity with some of the Premier League’s top earners.
Jack Rathborn16 October 2021 11:10
Klopp hits out at FA after Liverpool suffer Jones injury blow
The 20-year-old was absent from the 2-2 draw against Slovenia due to a groin problem.
Ahead of the Under-21s’ match against Andorra four days later, manager Lee Carsley insisted England “definitely won’t be taking any risks.”
Jack Rathborn16 October 2021 11:05
Klopp claims Newcastle takeover will create ‘new superpower’
Jurgen Klopp claims that Newcastle United’s takeover will lead to a “new superpower” in European football.
The Saudi Arabia-backed takeover has given the Magpies an enormous financial boost, with Mike Ashley selling the club for £305 million.
The takeover has attracted widespread condemnation surrounding the country’s human rights record.
Jack Rathborn16 October 2021 11:00
Klopp insists ‘nothing changes’ despite Fifa and Uefa complaints
The German said he had spoken to Premier League chief executive Richard Masters only “once or twice” during his six years in England and did not think the league’s 14-vote threshold required to effect changes had produced much good for football in general.
Jack Rathborn16 October 2021 10:49
Watford vs Liverpool predicted lineups
Watford: Foster; Femenia, Cathcart, Troost-Ekong, Rose; Sissoko, Kucka, Pedro, Tufan, Bonaventure; Sarr
Liverpool: Adrian; Milner, Van Dijk, Matip, Robertson; Keita, Henderson, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Jack Rathborn16 October 2021 10:48