4 Key Battles That Could Decide Manchester City's Premier League Clash With Watford on Tuesday

After coming through a tough test on Saturday against Bournemouth to win 3-1, Manchester City will be hoping to widen the gap at the top of the Premier League with a victory against Watford on Tuesday night. 


Watford will be hoping for their first win in five games when they host City. Their last fixture, a 2-0 loss to Leicester, saw them finish with ten men after Etienne Capoue's late red card. 


Here are four key battles that could decide the outcome of Tuesday night's clash.

1. Raheem Sterling vs Craig Cathcart

Only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored more Premier League goals than Raheem Sterling so far in the 2018/19 season.


Sterling continued his excellent form on Saturday, helping his side to victory with a goal in the 3-1 win against Bournemouth. 


Craig Cathcart, in the heart of the Watford defence, will need to be at his best to neutralise the threat of Sterling, who loves to cut inside from the left flank onto his right foot. 


Sterling will be fancying his chances against a Hornets team that have conceded five goals in their last two games. 

2. José Holebas vs Kyle Walker

Watford's Greek left-back José Holebas is a danger going forward, with four league assists to his name already this season.


Possessing a dangerous delivery from set-pieces as well as in open play, the Hornets may be reliant upon his dead-ball expertise against such an imposing Manchester City side.


Kyle Walker, who was rested against Bournemouth, must be wary of the threat his opposite number poses in attack.


It is probable that City will dominate possession. Therefore, Walker must make sure he does not vacate his defensive duties or he could leave his team vulnerable when Watford have the opportunity to flood forward on the counter-attack.

3. Fernandinho vs Nathaniel Chalobah

Etienne Capoue will miss the visit of Manchester City through suspension after he picked up a red card in the closing stages of the Hornets' 2-0 defeat at Leicester on Saturday.


Recent England debutant Nathaniel Chalobah is likely to be the man who replaces Capoue in Watford's starting lineup.


Up against the powerful and physical Fernandinho, it will be a match-up that tests the quality of Chalobah, who will be under immense pressure from the first whistle against a swarming City midfield. 

4. Gabriel Jesus vs Ben Foster

Gabriel Jesus was handed a rare Premier League start against Bournemouth last weekend after Sergio Agüero pulled out with a muscle injury.


With fixtures coming thick and fast over the festive period, Guardiola is unlikely to risk Agüero for his side's trip to Vicarage Road.


Brazilian international Jesus has endured a frustrating season so far, but he has the opportunity to turn around his fortunes against Watford.


Hornets goalkeeper Ben Foster has not kept a clean sheet in the Premier League since the end of October and he will be far from confident of doing so against City, who have amassed an astonishing goal difference of +37 from their 14 matches so far.