The wait is finally over, Liverpool will start the 17/18 campaign this Saturday, away at Vicarage
Road against Watford.
The start of the season means the Reds must fully focus on the football side of things, which might not
be the easiest thing to do . After a disappointing summer campaign so far where Liverpool missed on
most of their targets, the saga is far from finished.
Between Liverpool trying to fend off Barcelona’s interest in Coutinho and at the same trying to force a
move for Virgil Van Dijk, it’s worth remembering that in the month of August, the Reds will play 3
important Premier League fixtures plus 2 crucial Champions League qualifiers. All focus must be on
football and getting the results.
The team for Watford is quite obvious with 2 or 3 exceptions. Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana are out
injured while Philippe Coutinho is a doubt.The Reds will play in a 4-3-3 system with 2 holding midfielders
and 2 wide players.
Simon Mignolet will be in goal, Trent Alexander Arnold will start at right back while Dejan Lovren will start
at centre back alongside Joel Matip. At left back a case can be made for either of Milner, Robertson or
Moreno and i expect the Spaniard to start based on form.
Gini Wijnaldum, Emre Can and Marko Grujic are fighting for a spot alongside Jordan Henderson. Based
on last season, you have to feel that is pretty much a coinflip between Gini and Can and the 2 of them
will be rotated a lot throughout the season. However the strong and tall presence of Marko Grujic could
put him in contention for a start especially in a place like Watford away. Coutinho’s injury could hand an
unexpected start to the summer sensation, Dom Solanke. The front three will be formed by Mo Salah,
Sadio Mane and Bobby Firmino.
Watford on the other side haven’t had a notable summer either, with their biggest signing being the 26
years old attacking midfielder from Alaves, Kiko Femenia.
However they will be confident that Marco Silva will manage to get the best out of his side as the
Portuguese impressed at Hull despite just failing in his attempt to keep them up.
The main danger was the Hornets striker, Troy Deeney who featured and scored in a 2-0 win at Vicarage
Road against the Reds, but he will miss the game with an injury. Former Liverpool Academy Graduate,
Jerome Sinclair is expected to replace him up front and will try to prove a point, but the more
experienced Liverpool defenders should be able to deal with him.
The Reds won 3 out of the past 4 meetings including both games in the last season.Liverpool should
pass the opening day test without too many issues.
The mighty Reds to start on Saturday : Mignolet – TAA, Matip, Lovren, Moreno – Henderson, Can,
Solanke – Salah, Firmino, Mane.
Watford vs Liverpool
Kick off time : 12:30
Referee : Anthony Taylor
Stadium : Vicarage Road
Ground capacity : 21,577
Live on Sky Sports