There have been sides that have felt inevitable in the Premier League before. Arsenal’s Invincibles, Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea at their peak, Manchester United over far too many seasons under Alex Ferguson.
This year, though, for the first time, the inevitable side is Liverpool. A side opponents often feel they’ve lost to before the match kicks off. It’s a situation Watford manager Nigel Pearson admits they’re trying to prepare for.
“There’s probably less expectation on us in this game than there might be on others,” he noted when he spoke to the press ahead of Saturday’s game. “But there are three points up for grabs in every game.
“First and foremost, I want us to play as well as we can play, that’s really what it’s about. We don’t like losing any game but we are going to have to be at our best to give ourselves an opportunity in this game for sure.”
Even in that talk of not going into the game as though it’s already been decided there is a certain fatalism to Pearson’s words about playing well being at their best just to have a chance at anything.
It’s not a manager saying that if his side plays to their maximum they believe they will get a result. It’s a manager saying that if his side plays to their maximum, well, they could maybe possibly have a chance at one.
Still, in recent weeks opponents like Norwich and West Ham have run the Reds close, and along with those two clubs Watford are the third current member of the bottom three—and they need the points.
“We’re in the Premier League and we want to stay here,” Pearson added. “So if you go into games or writing off a number of games because you’re playing against the top sides then you limit your opportunities.
“We just have to go out there and give it our best and if we’re at our best and they’re not quite at their best, who knows.”