Claudio Ranieri returns as Jurgen Klopp’s Reds looks to extend unbeaten Premier League start

Liverpool return to Premier League action this weekend as they take on Claudio Ranieri’s Watford at Vicarage Road.

The Reds have enjoyed a strong start to the season and find themselves in second position in the table after enjoying an unbeaten start to their league campaign.

Ranieri’s new Watford side host Klopp’s Liverpool on Saturday lunchtime

Ranieri’s new Watford side host Klopp’s Liverpool on Saturday lunchtime

Following a thrilling 2-2 draw with Manchester City, Jurgen Klopp’s side will be looking to get back to winning ways against the Hornets and go top of the table.

For Watford, this will be seen as something of a free swing as Ranieri kicks off his tenure.

The Hornets are sitting in 15th position in the Premier League and with Ranieri now in the hotseat, they’ll be hoping to go on a decent run to ensure that they don’t find themselves dragged into the bottom three.

Watford v Liverpool: Live commentary

The Premier League clash is set to take place at Vicarage Road on Saturday, October 16 and will kick off at 12.30pm.

talkSPORT will have full coverage with our Gameday Exclusive getting underway from 11am.

Reshmin Chowdhury will be on presenting duty with commentary coming from Sam Matterface and Dean Ashton.

To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2, click  HERE for the live stream.

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Mo Salah will be hoping to extend his glorious form when Liverpool take on Watford

AFP

Mo Salah will be hoping to extend his glorious form when Liverpool take on Watford

Watford v Liverpool: Team news

Ranieri has a handful of injury concerns to contend with going into his first match as Watford boss.

Joshua King and Francisco Sierralta are both expected to miss out through injury after being withdrawn from their respective international squads over the last couple of weeks.

Christian Kabasele is also set to miss out as a long-term absentee.

In better news, Nicolas Nkoulou could be in line to make his debut after joining the club on a free transfer.

Liverpool could be without as many as six players for the clash at Vicarage Road.

Alisson and Fabinho are likely to miss Saturday’s contest as they return from international duty with Brazil after a match with Uruguay on Thursday evening.

Diogo Jota is also a worry after picking up a knock while away with the Portugal national team.

Harvey Elliott remains a long-term absentee while Klopp also has concerns over Trent Alexander-Arnold and Thiago Alcantara who were carrying knocks before the international break.

Jota is an injury doubt for the clash at Vicarage Road

AFP

Jota is an injury doubt for the clash at Vicarage Road

Watford v Liverpool: Match facts

  • This is the first Premier League meeting between Watford and Liverpool since February 2020, when the Hornets won 3-0 to end the Reds’ club record 44-game unbeaten league run, and their joint Premier League record 18-game winning streak.
  • Liverpool’s 0-3 loss against Watford last time out ended an eight-game unbeaten league run against the Hornets (W7 D1) – they’ve never lost back-to-back league games against the Hertfordshire side before.
  • Six of the seven Premier League meetings between Watford and Liverpool at Vicarage Road have seen at least one team score three goals, with Watford doing so on three occasions and Liverpool four (includes a 3-3 draw in August 2017).
  • Watford have conceded at least once in each of their last 17 Premier League games, since beating Liverpool 3-0 in February 2020. Only twice have they had a longer run without a clean sheet in the competition – 20 games in 1999-00, and 19 games in 2019.
  • After losing six of seven Premier League games between February and March, Liverpool are now unbeaten in their last 17 in the top-flight (W12 D5). The Reds could also become the first ever English top-flight side to score 3+ goals in seven consecutive away games in all competitions.
  • New Watford manager Claudio Ranieri has won four of his five Premier League home games against Liverpool, losing the other. The Italian has the highest home win rate against the Reds in Premier League history (80% – min. 5 meetings).
  • The last four managers to face Liverpool in their first game in charge of a club in the Premier League have all lost – Manuel Pellegrini (West Ham, 2018), Daniel Farke (Norwich, 2019), Nigel Pearson (Watford, 2019) and Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds, 2020). The last manager to win such a game was Craig Shakespeare – Claudio Ranieri’s successor at Leicester City in 2017.
  • Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has eight goals in his six Premier League appearances against Watford, including his first ever goal for the Reds (August 2017) and his first ever Premier League hat-trick (March 2018).
  • Mohamed Salah has scored in each of his last seven appearances in all competitions for Liverpool – he’s never scored in eight consecutive matches in his career within the big five European leagues.
  • Liverpool’s Sadio Mané has scored 99 Premier League goals. As well as potentially becoming just the third African player to reach 100 in the competition (after Didier Drogba and Mohamed Salah), Mané could be just the third player to score 100+ Premier League goals without any of them being penalties, after Les Ferdinand (149) and Emile Heskey (110).

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