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Watford v Liverpool: The Deen Machine can give Simon Mignolet nightmares and keep the Hornets’ winning run going

Watford are flying in the the top flight, and Deeney can provide the sting in the Hornets' tail when Liverpool travel to Vicarage Road on Sunday

by Josh Powell | December 17, 2015

Simon Mignolet’s Liverpool career is looking increasingly like it’ll be made into one of those blooper videos your nan gets you for Christmas. It’ll have clips of former goalkeepers having a jolly old laugh and will probably feature some kind of terrible voice over by James Cordon. All in all, it’ll make for some painful viewing, but Troy Deeney will be more than happy to watch it over and over again ahead of Watford’s clash with Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.

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While all eyes have been on Deeney’s partner in crime Odio Ighalo – a man who has 10 goals in 16 games – Deeney has started chipping in with a few strikes of his own. After going 846 Premier League minutes without a goal, the Watford front man now has five strikes in seven games as the Hornets have racked up three wins on the spin.

But why, you may be asking, should you side with Deeney over Ighalo if you’re looking for a first goalscorer punt playing for Watford? Well yes, partly because it’s a lot easier to fit Troy Deeney’s name into a movie title. But also because on the bare numbers there isn’t a lot between the deadly pair, and Deeney has the added bonus of being Watford’s penalty taker.

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  • Although Ighalo has scored twice as many goals as Deeney this term, their conversion rate inside the area is very similar. Ighalo has scored 10 goals from 49 shots (20.4 per cent conversion rate) while Deeney has scored five goals from 27 shots (18.5 per cent conversion rate).
  • In the last three games Ighalo has three goals to Deeney’s two. However, Ighalo has had 31 touches in the oppositions penalty area and 16 shots at goal compared to Deeney’s 15 touches and nine attempts, making him marginally more efficient.
  • It’s also worth noting Deeney is the main man from the spot. He’s already scored three penalties this season and has a career success rate of 86 per cent from 12 yards. Liverpool have conceded eight penalties in two-and-a-bit seasons, and unfortunately for many Reds’ fans, Martin Skrtel continually looks like he is mere seconds away from losing control of his limbs and bringing someone down in the box.

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We couldn’t preview a Liverpool piece without also bringing up the elephant in the room. That is of course if the elephant was a 6ft 3in Belgian whose habit of flapping at crosses, being completely out of position, and even holding on to the ball for too long is becoming increasingly worrying for Jurgen Klopp’s side. The bottom line is this: Simon Mignolet has had to face 46 shots on target this season and he’s made just 27 saves. If you haven’t got an abacus to hand, that means he’s conceded 41 per cent of the shots coming his way…

If you needed more reason to back a Watford striker, there it is.

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Troy Deeney is a shot to find the onion bag first at Vicarage Road on Sunday afternoon, while it is  that he’ll get his name on the scoresheet at any time. A more interesting punt may be Deeney to score anytime in a Watford win which is priced at . The Hornets have won three on the bounce and sit second in the form tables behind Leicester, while Liverpool are coming off a surprise defeat to Newcastle and (although they celebrated it like a Champions League win) a last-minute 2-2 draw at home to West Brom.

Ighalo might be the obvious man to back, but there’s reason to believe The Deen Machine can provide the sting in the Hornets’ tail on Sunday afternoon.

  • Hit up the latest odds on Watford v Liverpool at PaddyPower.com: Desktop | Mobile

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