Watford consolidated their position in the Premier League's top eight with a gritty display away at Southampton before the international break. The Hornets fell behind after 20 minutes and could have been two goals down but for a poor refereeing decision, before Jose Holebas' equaliser deflected in late on.
If recent reversals against Newcastle and Bournemouth had suggested a side with a soft underbelly, Javi Gracia's men dispelled doubts over their character here. While not at their best, Watford delivered a performance brimming with determination, aided by the introduction of Troy Deeney before the break.
Deeney's physicality caused panic in the Saints defence and the club captain is now in the frame for a starting berth on Saturday. Elsewhere, long-term injury victims Daryl Janmaat and Tom Cleverley are close to a return, whilst Etienne Capoue is available again following suspension.
Liverpool equal best-ever start
Liverpool equalled their best start to a Premier League season (2002/03) when beating Fulham 2-0 at Anfield before the international break. Mohamed Salah opened the scoring after goalkeeper Alisson initiated a lightening counter attack, with Xherdan Shaqiri's cushioned finish in the second half confirming victory.
Manager Jurgen Klopp has maintained his Liverpool team are not yet at their free-flowing best - and that in itself should swell confidence around the club. The Reds are well placed for a title challenge, unbeaten after 12 league outings (W9-D3-L0) and sitting eight points better off than at the same stage last season.
The visitors are sweating over the fitness of captain Jordan Henderson this weekend after the midfielder aggravated his hamstring injury on international duty. Fortunately, Naby Keita is available again and should be ready to start should the England international be rested ahead of next week's clash with PSG.
Reds can edge tight encounter
Watford and Liverpool produced a 3-3 thriller in the corresponding fixture last season. Although a repeat is unlikely, draw backers can support the stalemate at a bulbous 4.60knowing two of the Reds' three winless games have come away.
Watford [7.00] have toppled Tottenham at Vicarage Road already this term, as well as giving Manchester United a stern examination in Hertfordshire, suggesting this won't be easy meat for the visitors. However, Gracia's group have only W2-D2-L4 across their last eight outings as both victories came against bottom-half sides Wolves and Huddersfield.
Liverpool1.55 have tabled maximum points in all eight games against clubs outside the current top five and boast an exceptional 72% xG from open play ratio this term. Meanwhile, the Reds have returned W12-D4-L1 when travelling to non Big Six sides since the start of last season.
The Merseysiders have returned from their last two international breaks with victories by a single goal on the road and a repeat appeals at 5/2. Watford are giving up just 0.48 Expected Goals from open play on average, the second-best effort in the division, and unlikely to roll over with ease.
Both sides can oblige at Vicarage Road
Although Liverpool's defence receives plenty of plaudits, they have kept just one clean sheet from their last seven road games in all competitions, with that coming against a struggling Huddersfield outfit.
Meanwhile, Watford have seen both teams find the net in seven of eight matches hosting Big Six sides since the start of last season, suggesting there's plenty of merit in supporting Both Teams To Score at 1.81 on Saturday.
Same Game Multi
Only Sergio Aguero (8.58) and generated a higher xG than Mo Salah (7.91) thus far and the Egyptian's display when registered his sixth goal of the campaign against Fulham suggested he is not far from replicating his best form.
Betfair Sportsbook's Same Game Multi markets is offering us an attractive 9/1 on Liverpool's record-breaking star scoring at Vicarage Road in a game involving Both Teams To Score and the Reds to win by exactly one goal.
Back Liverpool to win by exactly one goal @ 5/2 in Watford v Liverpool