Unbeaten Liverpool are Claudio Ranieri's first opponents as Watford host Jurgen Klopp's side
Claudio Ranieri takes charge of Watford for the first time on Saturday afternoon, kicking off his reign with the enviable task of stopping Liverpool as they travel to Hertfordshire.
The Italian returns to England for the first time since leaving Fulham after suffering relegation, a fate the trigger-happy Pozzo family won’t want to repeat in seven months time.
The Egyptian winger’s stunning display against Manchester City before the international break was a sight to behold, and has led to Ranieri promising his squad a meal on him if they can keep a clean sheet against the Reds.
Peter Etebo, Christian Kabasele and Francisco Sierralta are all unavailable for the Tinkerman though, and new signing Nicolas N’Koulou is three weeks away from being match fit according to the former Leicester City manager. Josh King should make it though, after recovering from a knee ligament issue.
As for Liverpool, they’re boosted by the fitness of Trent Alexander-Arnold, who will return after missing the international break with England.
Alisson and Fabinho are playing a World Cup Qualifier with Brazil in the early hours of Friday morning before jetting back to make it for the game. Whether or not fatigue will be an issue that keeps them from starting remains to be seen.
Thiago Alcantara is still sidelined with a calf problem, Harvey Elliot is still in rehab with a broken leg, but Diogo Jota is fine after a knock, meaning Liverpool’s first choice front three are available to try and deny Watford their chosen cuisine.
The Reds can return to the top of the table if they take maximum points, while Watford will make it to double figures after just eight games if they can become the first side to inflict league defeat on Liverpool this term.
Watford take on Liverpool on Saturday, October 16th. Kick-off is at 12.30pm.