Watford are our next opponents as we are back to league play, hoping to respond well following the United loss. We sit at 4th at the time of writing, one point behind Tottenham and four ahead of Chelsea. Even though we will stay at fourth in the table if we lose, we need to have the mentality that every game is essentially a final to secure a champions league spot for next season. We should be fairly confident for this game regardless of the loss to United, not just because we are at home but because we have yet to lose consecutive league games under Klopp. Bogdan is back in training, while Lallana is questionable because he was forced to miss out in training due to a niggle this week. Clyne is still a question mark as well, as Klopp looks to ease him back in the rotation.
Watford seem to favor a 4-2-3-1 recently, and have been steady since Javi Gracia took over. Their most notable win would probably be the 4-1 win over Chelsea, so this game will require our full attention. They are capable of beating the top teams.
I think our lineup should be Karius; Robertson, VVD, Matip, Gomez; Milner, Can, Oxalde-Chamerberlain; Mane, Firmino, and Salah. A strong lineup to make sure we get the three points.
In an attacking sense, we should ask Firmino to look for the pockets of space just in front of Watford’s outside backs and center backs (ex. LB and LCB or RB and RCB), in the area between the two but slightly deeper instead of being literally right in the middle of the two. Because he is so good at operating in tight spaces, he may be able to turn and go at them. Perhaps attempt to dribble between them to get past. If he manages to turn and dribble towards them, he will draw the attention of both of those defenders, and that space that the Watford defenders leave behind to step to Firmino can be where our wingers run rampant, making runs behind them from more outside positions. If the Watford attacking midfielders drop lower to help out the two defensive midfielders in controlling Firmino, then it will give more time for our midfield three to control the game. It may be preferable for Firmino to drift towards the left to draw more defenders on that side of the field. This will leave more room for Salah and potentially the Ox to makes runs behind the defense so that a diagonal ball can be played to them.
Defensively, I think we trap Watford in the area between our midfielders and our forwards. We leave a slightly larger gap between our back seven and front three, luring them into playing and entering those areas. When they are in these areas, we press aggressively. We will still have seven players behind the ball but we will also have three players read to pounce on the counter, already in advanced positions. Since Watford will most likely play a counter attacking game, we may get our best chances this way.
Overall I think we will overwhelm them and will prove to be to much to handle. We should come away with three points this game.