The name ‘Manchester City’ strikes fear into most fans of Premier League football clubs, but I’d argue none more so than Watford fans, who have witnessed their side suffer from one of the most one-sided fixtures in Premier League history in recent years.
Manchester City are world-renowned as most of the most talented teams in football, who can dismantle almost any opponent at the flick of a switch, but there’s something about playing the Hornets that just gets Pep’s men buzzing.
In the last 14 meetings between the two sides in all competitions, Manchester City have won all 14 with an aggregate score of Manchester City 53-7 Watford (3.8 goals per game to 0.5 goals per game), which includes the joint-heaviest FA Cup final defeat in history – when City beat the Hornets 6-0 in front of a packed Wembley stadium in 2019.
While the discrepancy in talent, finances, and infrastructure between the two clubs is undeniable, there is still little-to-no rationale as to why there is such a discrepancy in the scoreline and performance on the pitch. Of course, the superior team will always be the favorites, but part of the beauty of football is the unpredictability, and the occasional fairytale, shock-defeat – but there is nothing unpredictable about this fixture. For as long as I can recall, the consensus amongst Watford fans is simply a case of ‘how many this time?’, and I’d be surprised to hear anything different this weekend.Raheem Sterling has 10 goals in his past six meetings with Watford.
Watford’s only potential saving grace in the fixture this time around is that Roy Hodgson is now at the helm – a man who has gained Pep’s respect having robbed City of a few points in seasons past, most memorably a 2-3 victory at the Etihad in 2018 that featured one of the goals of the season from Andros Townsend.