Saturday, July 20, 2019

Prediction: Watford vs Cardiff

Verdict: Home side to win – yes

Best Odds: 4/7

Bookmaker: 888sport

Two sides that are separated by two spots in the standings – but seven points – will meet this Saturday at Vicarage Road. Watford will host a struggling Cardiff side in a game where both sides have something to play for. While The Hornets will aim to move into the top half of the standings, Cardiff want to get the three points in order to place themselves a bit further away from the relegation zone.

Watford

The Hornets have struggled with their recent form since they are winless in their previous five league matches (D2, L3). However, at home they have looked competent with four wins out of four matches (W4, L4). The problem lies on the fact that Watford have won just one of their past five home outings (W1, L4) so all signs are trending in the wrong direction for them. They are coming off a grinding performance where they escaped with a 2-2 draw in their visit to Everton, but they previously suffered three consecutive defeats against superior sides such as Manchester City, Leicester City, and Liverpool. There are reasons to feel better regarding this game, though – after four consecutive matches against top-half opposition, now Watford will play against a lower-half side. Against those teams, The Hornets own a respectable record (W4, D2, L1) during the current term. Will they add another win to the mix here?

Team News

Watford will be seriously depleted entering this game, as they will feature five confirmed absentees and two doubtful players.

Etienne Capoue will be suspended, while the injury report includes Andre Gray (leg), Will Hughes (hip), Adalberto Penaranda (foot) and Sebastian Prodl (leg). Meanwhile, Tom Cleverley (calf) and Daryl Janmaat (undisclosed) are doubtful, and will be game-time decisions.

Cardiff

Cardiff have been playing well of late and the numbers do not lie. The Wales-based side have three wins in their previous five league matches (W3, L2), although the form shows WLWLW, which might suggest they could be bound for a defeat here. That’s not the only discouraging sign, though. Cardiff have lost their previous five away Premier League matches (scoring three goals and conceding 13 over that span) and their tally of 10 league defeats ranks as the second highest in the league ahead of this round. Cardiff’s recent away losses have been against tougher sides, though, since they have been facing teams such as Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea, as well as Everton and West Ham United, during that five-game span. They certainly have the better form entering this game, but their away struggles are something that must be addressed. Will they pull the upset, or will they suffer their seventh away defeat – in eight matches – here at Vicarage Road?

Team News

Cardiff won’t have Jazz Richards (thigh) and Danny Ward (knee) due to injury.

Meanwhile, Greg Cunningham (undisclosed) and Kenneth Zohore (calf) remain as doubtful. Both will require a late-fitness test to determine their availability.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Watford haven’t been playing very well of late. Over their last five matches, they have scored four times while conceding 10.
  • Late bloomers? 63% of Watford’s goals at home in the Premier League have come during the second half.
  • Cardiff have conceded three or more goals in three of their last five away league matches.
  • The Welsh side have also lost their last four away matches in the Premier League.
  • The hosts haven’t won in their last five Premier League outings (D2, L3), while Cardiff have won three of their previous five (W3, L2).
  • Cardiff have the edge in the last five H2H meetings. They own a W2, D2, L1 over Watford, but all those games were played in the Championship.

Conclusion

Cardiff have been on better form of late, but they have struggled on the road with five consecutive losses. That should be enough reason to think Watford should secure the three points in this one.

Verdict: Home side to win – yes

Best Odds: 4/7

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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