Javi Gracia is in danger of becoming the longest-serving Watford manager since Malky Mackay’s two year reign between 2009-2011, with the Spaniard having recently signed a new contract at Vicarage Road.
Gracia has only been in charge since January 2018 although the club owners are clearly satisfied that he’s doing a good job, having followed in the footsteps of Marco Silva, Walter Mazzarri and Quique Sanches Flores.
The Hornets sit tenth in the Premier League table and a top-half finish would clearly represent a successful outcome to the season, although there has been a downturn in form since winning the first four matches of the campaign.
It explains why the bookies are prepared to quote 10/1 about a win for Watford on Tuesday night when they entertain the best team in the land, with Gracia sure to be working on his team’s pressing of the ball between Saturday’s defeat at Leicester and this encounter.
One plus for the Hornets is that Manchester City have had a hectic run of matches and Pep Guardiola admitted after the 3-1 win over Bournemouth that his team had looked a bit flat, although they still coped without Sergio Aguero, John Stones, Kyle Walker and David Silva.
The latter trio should return to the team for a fixture that City won 6-0 last season and they’re easy enough to add into the midweek multiple at odds of 3/10 with Ladbrokes, with the champions of England having won their past six Premier League encounters.
Winning has become the norm for City and losing tends to be a freakish occurrence, with Guardiola wanting his team to go out and get the job done quickly so that they can effectively down tools and manage the game to the final whistle.
With this in mind, Ladbrokes’ 10/11 about the visitors leading at half-time and full-time looks like a decent shout when you consider that City have had their noses in front in all four away victories in the top flight this season.
Sergio Aguero looks set to be sidelined again due to risk of injury which means Gabriel Jesus gets the chance to shine and the Brazilian is 37/10 with Unibet to score the opener in this clash which isn’t a bad shout considering the forward is on penalty duties.
Raheem Sterling catches the eye at a bigger 5/1 and has a phenomenal scoring record this season which has seen the England man score four goals in as many top flight matches. That price is chalked up by Paddy Power and looks a decent shout.
We’re not sure City will be busting a gut to rack up a big winning scoreline despite winning this clash 6-0 last season, with a 4-0 win handsomely priced at 14/1 and this was the outcome at the London Stadium recently, with a slightly more modest 3-0 scoreline chalked up at 17/2.
It’s also worth noting that City have only conceded one goal away from home all term and a win to nil for Guardiola’s special team looks a brilliant bet at odds-against, with BetVictor going 11/8 that the champions land the points without conceding a goal.