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Dublin: 8 °C Sunday 26 January, 2020


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Right, on a busy Saturday for live sport, let’s do this.

Will Liverpool keep the pace up at the top of the table with a handy win at home to the Hornets this morning? Let’s have those predictions. 

Here are your teams: 

Liverpool Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Milner; Henderson, Wijnaldum; Shaqiri, Firmino, Mane; Salah.

Subs: Adrian, Robertson, Williams, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana, Origi.

Watford Foster; Kiko Femenia, Cathcart, Kabasele, Mariappa; Doucoure, Capoue; Sarr, Hughes, Deulofeu; Deeney.

Subs: Gomes, Foulquier, Dawson, Chalobah, Quina, Gray, Success.

Really bright start from the visitors and Troy Deeney looks like he might open the scoring but he can’t reach a great Sarr cross. 

‘Are you an ostrich?’

New Watford boss Nigel Pearson will be pleased with the opening, it has to be said. 

This early kick off marks the start of a manic period for Jurgen Klopp’s side of course with a trip to the middle east and a League Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa on the cards. 


An Alexander-Arnold trademark diag is fizzed in, as is his wont, but Mane is deemed to handle it and it’s a free out.  


Jordan Henderson has the first real sight of goal as he tries to wrap his foot around a bouncing ball but drives it high. 


Mane tries to hook the ball goalwards with his back to it but can’t keep it down. 

Hughes is booked for a challenge on Henderson in the middle of the park, meanwhile.

Liverpool are starting to get on top here after 25 minutes or so. 


Liverpool have picked up 101 points from their last 38 games, BT’s Fletch has just told us. That’s insane.

Half an hour in, Watford have dropped back and Liverpool are dominating possession, if not carving out many clear chances just yet. 


Doucoure has a massive chance! The ball is pulled back to him from the byline but he completely whiffs it and Gomes then snuffs out the opportunity. 


GOAL! Liverpool 1 Watford 0 – Salah, 37′ 


Brilliant goal. Firmino cleverly plays Salah through but he has loads to do. 

The striker turns Kiko Femenia, bringing the ball onto his weaker right foot and he curls in a lovely finish. Classic counter attack after that earlier Watford chance. 


Oh my days, Watford should be level. 

Alisson punches clear and the ball drops to Sarr, maybe seven or eight yards out, but he completely fluffs it. I’ve been there. 


We’re up and running again at Anfield. No changes from either manager. 


A long-ish VAR delay as Mane has the ball in the back of the net with a header but it’s ultimately deemed to be offside. 


Bit of a delay and a reshuffle. 

Milner is booked for a diving challenge. Then Wijnaldum goes down injured with a worrying knee issues. 

Andy Robertson is ultimately introduced in place of the Dutch midfielder, going into his usual slot at full back with Milner moving into midfield. 

That’s bad news for the Reds ahead of the trip to Qatar. 


Great chance for the Reds. 

Milner plays a lovely through ball for Salah down the middle but the Egyptian takes a heavy second touch and the opportunity is gone. 


The Ox is getting ready to come off the bench. 


Shaqiri trots off to be replaced by Oxlade-Chamberlain.


Firmino had a good chance there to put this one to bed. The ball fell to the Brazilian on the penalty spot but he couldn’t get off a clean shot. Hughes and Cathcart were quick to smother the ball. 


Bit of a let off for Liverpool. 

Alisson makes a mistake to give away a corner and directly from the set piece Deulofeu pings the near post. 

The crowd seem jittery enough with 10 minutes or so to go. 


Doucoure goes off to be replaced by Quina and then Firmino gets called to the line; Origi’s on for the last few minutes. 


That’s that. And the finish was the height of impudence. 

Mane pulled the ball back for Origi but his shot is mis-hit. Salah looks onside and he flicks it inside the near post. 


VAR are checking this again and it’s all a bit flat. As I type, the goal’s confirmed and Klopp uppercuts the air. Job done once more.  


Another step to the title. Liverpool go 11 points clear again for now and will head off to Qatar in midweek in search of a world title. 

What did you make of that?

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