Thursday, January 23, 2020

Prediction: Bournemouth vs Watford

Verdict: Watford draw no bet

Best Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: Bet365

In what is being billed as a real relegation six-pointer, Watford will make the trip to a struggling Bournemouth on Sunday afternoon.

Bournemouth

Starting with the hosts, while Bournemouth may have managed to book their spot in the fourth round of this year’s FA Cup thanks to a 4-0 win over Championship strugglers Luton last weekend, it has been a woeful run of form for the Cherries. With the pressure really starting to mount on long-standing boss Eddie Howe, the South Coast outfit were hit with an embarrassing 4-0 hammering away at fellow scrappers West Ham on New Year’s Day and Bournemouth have now dropped into the relegation zone. Failing to win any of their previous four Premier League appearances since their shock 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge, Sunday’s hosts have lost eight of their last nine top-flight outings, a run that stems back to the 2nd of November. Dealing with a long list of injury issues, a huge part of the Cherries’ issues entering 2020 has been down to some sluggish displays in the final third. Once again drawing a blank at the London Stadium, Bournemouth have bagged just a single strike in any of their previous four Premier League matchups.

Team News

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe says he will make last-minute decisions on the fitness of a host of players.

However, David Brooks, Charlie Daniels, Josh King and Jack Stacey will definitely not feature.

Watford

As for the visitors, after throwing away a 3-0 lead against League One outfit Tranmere over the weekend and having to settle for an FA Cup replay, new Watford boss Nigel Pearson will be desperate for his side to bounce back on the South Coast. While they may have put in a torrid second-half display on Saturday, few across the Premier League would have expected the Hornets stellar revival under the one-time Leicester boss. Hanging on to snatch a 2-1 win off of European hopefuls Wolves on New Year’s Day, the Londoners are unbeaten in their last four top-flight appearances, a run that will undoubtedly be highlighted by their 2-0 victory over Manchester United last month. With their sights firmly set on finding a route out of the drop zone and opening the weekend sat just two points adrift of safety, one man to keep an eye out for on Sunday will be former Barcelona winger Gerard Deulofeu. Finding the net against Wolves last time out, the 25-year-old has two goals in his last three appearances.

Team News

Watford have Roberto Pereyra available after his red card against Tranmere was rescinded, while Nathaniel Chalobah and Craig Cathcart have been passed fit.

However, Tom Cleverley, Kiko Femenia, Will Hughes, Daryl Janmaat, Sebastian Prodl and Danny Welbeck are all out.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides met back in October Watford and Bournemouth played out a 0-0 draw at Vicarage Road.
  • Three of the last four Premier League matches between the two sides have ended in a draw.
  • Bournemouth have lost eight of their last 10 Premier League appearances.
  • Watford are unbeaten in their last four Premier League matchups, winning three of those contests.
  • Winger Gerard Deulofeu has two goals in his last three matchups.

Conclusion

While Watford may have been on the wrong end of a dramatic fightback last weekend, the Hornets have begun to show a string of improvements under new boss Nigel Pearson. Knowing that three points on Sunday would see them leapfrog the Cherries and likely secure them a route out of the bottom-three, Sunday’s traveling support should see this weekend ad a golden opportunity to extend on their stellar run. Winning three of their last four and with Bournemouth continuing to freefall down the standings, Pearson’s men will travel to the Vitality rining with confidence.

Verdict: Watford draw no bet

Best Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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