Liverpool vs Watford LIVE: Premier League team news, line-ups as Trent Alexander-Arnold starts on bench

Liverpool scarves sold outside the ground

Liverpool are taking on Watford at Anfield as they seek to move top of the Premier League. Jurgen Klopp’s side have won their last nine league games to move within a point of leaders Manchester City, and victory here would send them above City at least until pep Guardiola’s side take on Burnley at 3pm.

Klopp has been boosted by the return to fitness of Trent Alexander-Arnold after the right-back missed the international break with a hamstring injury, but the England international starts on the bench with Joe Gomez playing from the beginning of the match. “Physically he should be fine,” Klopp said on Friday. “Now I have to make the decision about rhythm and these kinds of things.”

For Roy Hodgson and Watford the match represents a stiff test, but they can ill-afford to roll over with the relegation scrap entering its final weeks. With the two sides around 18th-placed Watford in the league – Everton above and Burnley below – meeting next week, the Hornets could find themselves slipping off the pace if they fail to take any points today.

Follow all the action from the Premier League match between Liverpool and Watford below.

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Liverpool vs Watford

Liverpool have won 12 of their 13 home league matches against Watford. The Reds have won the last six of those games by an aggregate score of 22-1.

Watford’s most recent win at Anfield was back in August 1999.

Liverpool vs Watford: Team changes

Jurgen Klopp makes four changes to the Liverpool team that defeated Arsenal in their last Premier League game before the international break. Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino come in to replace Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz. Trent Alexander-Arnold makes the bench with Joe Gomez favoured at right-back and Curtis Jones comes in for Fabinho.

Just one change for Roy Hodgson’s men. Ismaila Sarr comes in to replace Emmanuel Dennis up top.

Liverpool vs Watford: Line-ups

Liverpool XI: Alisson, Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Thiago Alcantara, Jones, Salah, Jota, Firmino

Watford XI: Foster, Femenia, Kabasele, Samir, Kamara, Louza, Kucka, Sissoko, Sarr, Pedro, Hernandez

Liverpool vs Watford: Premier League standings

Liverpool come into the game sitting just one point behind league leaders Manchester City. Both teams have played the same number of games with Jurgen Klopp’s men having the advantage on goal difference which could come into play later in the season. Three points for the Reds would move them to the top of the table before City face Burnley at 3pm.

Watford are currently 18th and three points adrift of safety. They have played two games more than relegation rivals Everton and Burnley and are in need points. Last time out the defeated Southampton 2-1 and will be hoping to back that victory up with another one at Anfield.

Liverpool vs Watford: Hodgson on competition for places

Watford boss, Roy Hodgson, says that competition for places in the starting XI is healthy at Vicarage Road and that he is happy with the performances of his key players.

He says one of the keys for Watford’s run in will be to keep his players fit and performing to a level that will see them challenge for wins although that task is harder against the top sides like Liverpool. He said:

“I think the competition for places has become hotter. I was happy with Cathcart, I was happy with Cleverley, and Dennis, Sarr and King, but the other players that have come in have made me think.

“That’s good going forward. We need to keep these players fit, keep the competition going, but most important of all this club needs spirit.

“Every time you play a team like Liverpool away from home you know the odds are stacked against you. There’s no secret to how good they are or why they’re good, the quality of their players and the quality of their work. All we can do is hope that we’re able to produce a performance on the day that will give us a result.”

Liverpool vs Watford: Klopp on five subs

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has long been a fan of having substitutions per game as it allows coaches to better manage player workloads.

“It is top news for football and top news for the players.” he said about the vote. “We have all spoken about it, that the games won’t get less.

“With all the things we know we try to help the players as much as we can but the games are always the most intense and everything we could do we should do.”

Liverpool vs Watford: Premier League vote for five subs

The Premier League has voted to reintroduce five substitutes per game in time for the start of next season. In a statement the Premier League said that “clubs agreed to change the rules relating to substitute players.

“From next season, clubs will be permitted to use five substitutions, to be made on three occasions during a match, with an additional opportunity at half-time.

“A total of nine substitutes can be named on the team sheet.”

It was also confirmed that the next transfer window will open on 10th June and will close at 23:00 BST on 1st September in line with other European leagues.

Liverpool vs Watford: Team news

Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold is back in full training and could return from the hamstring injury that caused him to miss England’s recent fixtures. Midfielder Naby Keita also withdrew from international duty with a knee injury and could potentially return.

Watford are boosted by the return of winger Ismaila Sar who has missed the last three games due to a hamstring injury and defender Nicolas Nkoulou is available after completing his recovery from a long-term hamstring issue.

Liverpool vs Watford

Welcome to The Independent’s coverage of Liverpool vs Watford as the Premier League returns this weekend following the international break.

Jurgen Klopp’s men are looking for their 10th consecutive league victory with the knowledge that three points will be enough to move them above title rivals Manchester City at least until the Premier League champions face Burnley later this afternoon.

Watford meanwhile are fighting a relegation battle. They come into the game three points away from safety and having played two games more than 17th placed Everton. Victory at Anfield today would not be enough to move them out of the drop zone – due to their poor goal difference – but it would be a huge step towards safety for Roy Hodgson’s men.

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