Watford’s recent actions should cause Liverpool anxiety.
When Liverpool visits Vicarage Road on Saturday afternoon to face Watford, the circumstances surrounding the Hornets’ selection of new manager Claudio Ranieri will echo a pair of previous occurrences.
The Reds have played two mid-season league matches in which the opposing manager was in charge of his debut game for the club during Jurgen Klopp’s stint in England.
The first was against a team that had just replaced Ranieri as manager, and the second was against Watford.
It seems like the worst time to play a struggling team, because the players will certainly be motivated to impress the new boss. It’s understandable that Liverpool fans are cautious when their team is up against such a challenge.
And a glance back at the eight instances in the Premier League era demonstrates that Kopites have reason to be apprehensive ahead of these games, especially when they take place outside of the safer boundaries of Anfield.
How do Liverpool do in their first game under a new manager? Let’s have a look.
The Reds had to host a ‘top versus bottom’ Premier League match against Watford before heading to Qatar for the Club World Cup.
Watford’s new manager, Nigel Pearson, fluffed his lines with many very good chances in the first half, despite Mohamed Salah’s brace ensuring Liverpool’s victory.
Ranieri was sacked by his assistant Craig Shakespeare less than a year after leading Leicester to the most unexpected title in English football history.
Two goals from Jamie Vardy sandwiched a long-range drive from Danny Drinkwater to put the Foxes 3-0 up at the King Power Stadium. For the visitors, Philippe Coutinho pulled one back, but it was much too little, far too late.
This game was important from a Liverpool standpoint because it was Luis Suarez’s first in the league following his 10-game suspension for biting Branislav Ivanovic.
Sunderland had just fired Paolo Di Canio and appointed Kevin Ball as temporary manager until Gus Poyet was appointed permanently. Daniel Sturridge scored the game’s first goal, followed by two goals from Luis Suarez. “The summary has come to an end.”