Man City facing race for title
The Premier League title race is set to go to the wire but champions Manchester City should have no problems dealing with Watford this weekend in a one-sided contest.
Pep Guardiola's side are being pushed all the way by a rampant Liverpool, chasing the quadruple, with every match in the run-in critical to the destination of this year's winners.
Man City's FA Cup hopes were ended by rivals Liverpool at Wembley last weekend, with all the focus switching to retaining their title and finally getting their hands on the Champions League. Guardiola's side hold a slender one-point lead domestically after their 3-0 win over Brighton on Wednesday night.
Watford out of time after home horrors
It has been a season to forget for Watford fans and their team will surely be put out of their misery soon with relegation appearing inevitable. A 4-1 win over a lame Manchester United in November was a rare high point but a club record tenth successive home defeat last weekend marked a new low.
Roy Hodgson's appointment, as Claudio Ranieri's successor, has not paid off with second bottom Watford facing the drop. The Hornets have been more competitive on the road but their 2-1 defeat to Brentford at Vicarage Road, after Pontus Jansson's 95th minute winner, was yet another painful moment in a dispriting campaign.
Man City are virtually unbackable for the victory at miniscule odds of 1.132/15. No-one can argue at the price considering they have won their last 14 matches against Watford in all competitions. Everything is in the hosts' favour and Man City will surely oblige but there is no value whatsoever.
Watford are one of the biggest priced teams of the season with the visitors available at 34.033/1. It would be a monumental upset but Hodgson has claimed three away wins as a manager over Man City. Still, it is impossible to make a logical case for the Hornets to throw a huge spanner in the works of the champions' title hopes.
The draw is trading at 11.010/1 and also looks extremely difficult to envisage. Watford desperately need wins but Hodgson will set them up to be hard to beat. Ultimately Man City's exceptional quality and squad depth will prove too much but there is no appetite to get involved with the prohibitive odds in this market.
Betfair's Bet Builder option is a decent opportunity to side with overwhelming favourites Man City. Raheem Sterling has a stunning record against Watford, with the forward scoring 10 goals in his last six games against them. It is Sterling's best return against any opposing team and he will be relishing the chance to punish Watford if he starts.
The Hornets were beaten 3-1 by City earlier this season and have conceded 21 goals in their last four matches against them.
The last nine wins for Man City against Watford have all resulted in at least three goals.
This looks an impossible task for Watford and a high-scoring loss looks likely. Backing Man City to win, Sterling to score and over 2.5 goals stands out as a bet builder at 2.3411/8.
Guardiola has won all 10 of his meetings with Watford in all competitions, by an aggregate score of 42-4. It is his best 100% win rate against an opponent in his managerial career.
Follow Simon's bets on Twitter @watfordtipster