By Danny Wright
Mark Lawrenson has predicted that Liverpool will not be able to get their 2017/18 Premier League campaign with a win against Watford on Saturday.
The BBC pundit believes that the Reds will only managed to walk away from Vicarage Road with a point and that they will be held to a 1-1 draw by the hosts.
Lawrenson, 60, has also highlighted Watford’s new manager Marco Silva and his side’s newest recruit Andre Gray as their potential danger men ahead of the game as they look to improve on what was achieved last term.
“Andre Gray scored nine league goals for Burnley last season and Watford will be hoping he scores a few more after paying about £18.5m for him this week,” said the former Liverpool player on the BBC Sport website in his weekly predictions.
“I think the Hornets will be better than they were last season with Marco Silva as manager – he will get more out of his players than his predecessor Walter Mazzarri did.
“The focus on Liverpool is about Philippe Coutinho, and whether he will join Barcelona – but he has a back injury so he won’t play in this game anyway. Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is without Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge too.
“Liverpool won here late last season thanks to an outstanding Emre Can goal, but I am probably going to go for a draw this time because Silva will make Watford hard to beat at Vicarage Road.”
The Reds have won all but nine of their last 10 meetings with Watford across all competitions dating back to the start of the 21st Century.
The last time the Hornets managed to overcome the Merseysiders was in 2015 when Nathan Ake and an Odion Ighalo brace secured a 3-0 victory for the Hertfordshire side.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are now embarking on a season which sees them competing back in the Champions League after finishing fourth last term.
There’s no doubt that the former Borussia Dortmund boss will be looking to take his Reds to the next level and has already showed signs in the transfer market that he will do that with the captures of Mohamed Salah and Andrew Robertson.
In other Liverpool news, Jamie Redknapp believes that this teenager can make a big impact for the Reds this season.