Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Why Watford could stop the rot against AFC Bournemouth this weekend

Crippy Cooke in Editorial, English Premier League 20 Jan 2017

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Watford manager Walter Mazzarri is desperate for a turnaround in fortunes.

Watford travel to the Vitality Stadium to face AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, and are desperate to win to end their poor recent form.

The Hornets are underdogs with the bookmakers given they have gone six games without a win, but the poor defensive record – particularly at home – of win-shy Bournemouth might give Watford confidence of stopping the rot.

Cherries have defensive flaws

Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth side have been porous of late, conceding 12 goals in their last five Premier League games, keeping only three clean sheets in as many months. They have, in fact, conceded three goals or more in seven of their last nine outings and the Cherries boss has acknowledged the need to correct their defensive flaws. At the Vitality Stadium alone, the Cherries have conceded nine in their previous four games.

“It doesn’t sound great, that statistic, and it is not something we will hide from. The only thing you can do is to work harder on all aspects of the team, that is a very obvious statement, but the whole team has to function together,” he said recently. Bournemouth’s defensive record was a problem last season, shipping 67 goals – the second worst return of all the sides – and this campaign still sees their backline as one of the leakiest (21 games, 37 goals conceded).

Watford haven’t slipped up to bottom-half sides this season

Watford have a good record against sides in the bottom-half of the Premier League which will give them confidence ahead of their trip to Dean Court. The Hornets have lost just one of their 10 games against teams 11th and below in the table this season, and have the joint-third best defensive record in games against sides in the lower reaches.

Walter Mazzarri’s men played out a score draw with Bournemouth when the two sides met earlier in the campaign, and 74% of their points have come against bottom-half entities. They have been picking up results against sides in and around them in the Premier League table and face Bournemouth with the hosts looking vulnerable.

Eddie Howe’s men have picked up only one win in their last five ahead of their weekend clash with Watford, and have been leaking goals at an alarming rate. A few weeks ago, Saturday’s fixture would perhaps be a foregone conclusion, but Watford stand a real chance of ending their poor run. Watford are 15/4 to win against AFC Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.

Can the Hornets recover?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Crippy Cooke


Crippy Cooke has somehow written for the Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London24 and Bleacher Report among others, despite knowing less about football than your average Fan TV member . The weekly accumulator enthusiast is saving up his winnings to pay for a much-needed hair transplant but grows more on his chin than his head. He lives and breathes football and somehow makes a living writing from it.

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