Having enjoyed no midweek fixtures for the first time in almost a month, Manchester City will be hoping to stretch their lead at the top of the Premier League table when they host Watford on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola’s Citizens lead the table heading into the final months of the season and know that three more points will place the pressure on Liverpool to remain in touching distance.
The hosts will be wary however of the Hornets, who themselves are attempting to mount a successful campaign to clinch a Europa League berth following a fine campaign under the stewardship of Javi Gracia.
|Game||Manchester City vs Watford|
|Date||Saturday, March 9|
|Time||5:30pm GMT / 12:30pm ET|
|Stream ( US only)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|Telemundo Deportes En Vivo||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 4K UHD. It can be streamed on the BT Sport Live app.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 1/BT Sport 4K UHD||BT Sport Live|
Squads & Team News
|Position||Man City squad|
|Goalkeepers||Ederson, Grimshaw, Muric|
|Defenders||Walker, Danilo, Laporte, Stones, Otamendi, Sandler, Zinchenko, Kompany, Mendy|
|Midfielders||Gundogan, De Bruyne, B. Silva, D. Silva, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Foden|
|Forwards||Aguero, Jesus, Sterling, Sane|
Pep Guardiola is without Kevin De Bruyne after the Belgium international picked up a hamstring strain against Bournemouth.
Aymeric Laporte has returned to training for the Citizens but is still expected to not make a return until after the international break.
Confirmed Man City starting XI: Ederson; Walker, Kompany, Otamendi, Zinchenko; Gundogan; Bernardo Silva, David Silva; Sterling, Mahrez, Aguero.
|Goalkeepers||Foster, Gomes, Dahlberg|
|Defenders||Mariappa, Kabasele, Cathcart, Britos, Wilmot, Prodl, Masina, Janmaat, Navarro|
|Midfielders||Cleverley, Capoue, Sema, Pereyra, Chalobah, Doucoure, Quina|
|Forwards||Deeney, Deulofeu, Success, Gray, Penaranda|
Despite no fresh injury concerns, Javi Gracia opted for seven changes for his side from the team that beat Leicester.
Rather than Troy Deeney, Garvia has decided to go with Andre Gray to lead the line.
Confirmed Watford starting XI: Foster; Janmaat, Britos, Kabasele, Masina; Femenia, Doucoure, Capoue, Cleverley, Success; Gray.
Betting & Match Odds
City are overwhelming 1/7 favourites to win this match with Bet365 . Watford can be backed at a distant 16/1 while the draw is priced at 13/2.
Manchester City will be hoping that their absence of midweek commitments over the past few days for the first time in nearly a month will have left them somewhat refreshed when they play host to Watford on Saturday.
The Citizens welcome their Premier League rivals to the Etihad Stadium having regained control at the top of the table last weekend following Liverpool’s slip-up in the Merseyside derby against Everton.
Pep Guardiola’s team now lead by a point and thanks to an earlier kick-off this weekend, know that they have the chance to add three more and increase the gap to place psychological pressure on the Reds.
Javi Gracia’s side, however, are stacked with talent themselves and have proven to be tenacious on occasion this season, though they will be more than aware of the magnitude of the task at hand to deliver an upset.
“He is a great coach, a lovely person and I have very good memories of that time but I would have liked to have had a full year with him,” the 24-year-old said.
“I was very young and I wasn’t in the dressing room much, but I’m very grateful for the opportunities he gave me.
“Of course [I would like to play under him again], that’s why I keep working.”
City will have been further bolstered by the news that in-form Sergio Aguero has been passed over for duty by Argentina during the international break, thus reducing the risk of their star striker picking up an injury ahead of the run-in.
The club however have been dogged by off-field matters this week with the announcement of a UEFA investigation into a reported violation of Financial Fair Play rules .
The Sky Blues have denied such claims and offered an official statement in response earlier this week.
"Manchester City welcomes the opening of a formal UEFA investigation as an opportunity to bring to an end the speculation resulting from the illegal hacking and out of context publication of City emails," they wrote.
"The accusation of financial irregularities are entirely false. The club’s published accounts are full and complete and a matter of legal and regulatory record."