Watford vs Liverpool Build Up: Coutinho OUT

Liverpool will be without Philippe Coutinho for their Premier League opener against Watford at Vicarage Road.

Coutinho has dominated the headlines in the build-up to the clash, with Sky sources reporting the Brazilian issued Liverpool with an official transfer request following the owners’ statement that he is not for sale.

Liverpool denied receiving any such request but the speculation surrounding the 25-year-old, who misses the game with a back injury, is an unwelcome distraction for Jurgen Klopp and his side ahead of the season opener.

Joining Coutinho on the sidelines is Daniel Sturridge, who misses the trip to Vicarage Road with a thigh issue.

Meanwhile, Hornets record signing Andre Gray starts from the bench this weekend with Captain Troy Deeney also ruled out after a recent groin surgery.

Starting XIs

Watford 4-3-3

Heurelho Gomes; Daryl Janmaat, Miguel Britos, Younes Kaboul, Jose Holebas; Nathaniel Chalobah, Tom Cleverley, Abdoulaye Doucoure; Nordin Amrabat, Stefano Okaka, Roberto Pereyra

Liverpool 4-3-3

Simon Mignolet; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno; Emre Can, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum; Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane

Stats

Watford have lost their last three Premier League meetings with Liverpool, with an aggregate score of 1-9 in the Reds' favour.

Emre Can's spectacular overhead kick sealed a 1-0 win for Liverpool at Vicarage Road last season on May 1, 2017.

Watford are yet to record an opening day Premier League win, losing twice and drawing twice.

Liverpool have won each of their last four opening day Premier League matches, after failing to win any of the previous four.

Three of Liverpool's four defeats on opening day in the Premier League have come away from Anfield (W8 D5 L3).

Klopp's heaviest defeat as Liverpool manager came against Watford in December 2015, with the Reds going down 3-0 at Vicarage Road.