Tom Cleverley warns Liverpool: Watford will have 'big say' in top four
WATFORD, London -- Ahead of Monday night's game with Liverpool, Tom Cleverley has told ESPN FC that Watford will have a big say over the Premier League's top four in the final weeks of the season.
Cleverley, who left Manchester United for Everton in August 2014, has agreed a permanent deal at Watford after signing for Walter Mazzarri's club on loan in January.
Watford have already beaten United and Everton at home this season, and Liverpool, who inflicted a 6-1 defeat on Mazzarri's team at Anfield in November, visit Vicarage Road on Monday for the first time since losing 3-0 last season.
With Watford due to face Liverpool, Everton, Manchester City and Chelsea in the final weeks of the season, Cleverley admits his former club United could be the beneficiaries if the 10th placed Hornets take points off their rivals in the race for the top four.
"We will have a big say in what happens at the top of the league," Cleverley told ESPN FC. "We still have to play City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton in the last five games.
"It's a big challenge for us, but we really want to finish the season strongly and end up in the top 10. When you get three points that people don't expect against the top clubs, it gives you a real buzz.
"You really get the confidence that you can mix it with the best and we will be hoping to do it again on Monday night.
"I think it'll be Chelsea and Spurs as the top two and then the two Manchester clubs making up the top four. I might regret saying that with Liverpool coming on Monday night, but hopefully we can do United a favour.
"Vicarage Road is a tough place for big teams to visit -- I could see that from the first week I came to the club because it is a team focused on winning with lots of big characters."
Cleverley, who won a Premier League title medal with United in 2012-13, admits he can expect to be singled out for attention from the Liverpool supporters on Monday due to his previous clubs.
"I suppose I'll be in for a bit of stick from the Liverpool fans, being an ex-Everton and Manchester United player," he said. "It's a bit like when I go to Leeds, being an ex-United player who comes from Bradford."
Mark Ogden is a senior football writer for ESPN FC. Follow him @MarkOgden_