Saturday, December 4, 2021

Prediction: Watford vs Southampton

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 3/4

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to build off of that eye-catching victory last weekend, Watford will welcome Southampton to Vicarage Road on Saturday afternoon.

Watford

Starting with the hosts, while Watford might have begun Claudio Ranieri’s reign in charge with a worrying defeat on home soil, the Hornets put in a stunning display last time out. Putting in what many around Vicarage Road are billing as a season-best performance, the one-time Leicester boss saw his side claim an action-packed 5-2 romp away at Everton. Watching former Toffees striker Josh King bag a hat-trick on his return to Goodison Park, there is no doubt that the Premier League returners will be desperate to build off of that result. With their sights firmly set on trying to extend on their top-flight status this time around, Saturday’s hosts will be hoping to tighten up at the back. Opening up Ranieri’s tenure with a dreadful 5-0 drumming against Liverpool in front of their own supporters, Watford have landed just a single clean sheet across any format since opening the 2021/22 campaign.

Team News

After overcoming a calf injury, former England defender Danny Rose should return to Watford’s squad this weekend.

However, Emmanuel Dennis will be missing on Saturday afternoon as he serves a suspension.

Southampton

As for the visitors, while Southampton might have put in a rugged display on their travels in midweek, the Saints saw their EFL Cup adventure come to an abrupt end. Suffering penalties heartbreak away at Chelsea on Tuesday night, the south coast outfit will be desperate to build off of their positives when they return to the capital this weekend. Despite Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men marking their return from October’s international break with a much-needed 1-0 win against Leeds on home soil, the former RB Leipzig boss has seen his side struggle with their consistency. Still looking over their shoulder at the drop zone, Southampton could only eventually muster a point against Burnley last weekend and they have landed just a single Premier League win since opening the 2021/22 campaign. Likewise, it should also be noted, continuing on from last season, Saturday’s guests have landed a sole top-flight win from their previous 11 outings.

Team News

Suffering an ankle injury last weekend, striker Armando Broja is likely to be missing on Saturday afternoon.

However, in what is a boost for Southampton, skipper James Ward-Prowse is set to make his return after serving a suspension.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides last faced off back in June 2020, Southampton picked up a 3-1 win at Vicarage Road.
    • Likewise, including back-to-back victories, Saturday’s guests are unbeaten in each of their six meetings against Watford.
    • Watford’s last two Premier League matchups have produced 12 goals.
    • Each of Southampton’s last four matchups across all formats have finished with both teams finding the net.
    • Nine of the last 10 meetings between Saturday’s opponents have finished with over 1.5 goals.

    Conclusion

    Shocking many across the Premier League last weekend as they stormed their way to a 5-2 win away at Goodison Park, there is no doubt that Watford will be desperate to build off of that result. Bouncing back from that 5-0 drumming at the hands of Liverpool earlier in the month, Saturday’s hosts have gained a reputation for their lively outcomes. Welcoming an inconsistent Southampton to Vicarage Road, we could have another end-to-end contest on our hands. With the Saints seeing each of their last four matchups across all formats finish with both teams finding the net, we’re backing a similar outcome in the capital this weekend.

    Verdict: Both teams to score

    Best Odds: 3/4

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    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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