Huddersfield Town vs Watford
Venue: The John Smith’s Stadium
Referee: Craig Pawson
Huddersfield Town host Watford on Saturday with the hosts and manager David Wagner sitting just four points above the Premier League relegation zone.
It’s a tale of two teams, separated by just five points in the Premier League table, with both struggling for wins. This weekend, Huddersfield host Watford, a team they defeated 4-1 in gameweek 18 on their trip to Vicarage Road. Since that win back in December, the Terriers have won just 11 points, remaining a stone’s throw away from the relegation zone (four points). This fixture is more important for David Wagner, “You can take small margins from the Watford match earlier this season but they have a new system and a new head coach, so this game is in the past.”Embed from Getty Images
Watford have shown flashes of brilliance since gameweek 26, winning three of four games and taking nine important points in their bid to remain in the Premier League. Since their last win (GW29 vs WBA), it’s been back-to-back losses to Arsenal and Manchester United. More importantly, the Hornets have given away two vital wins in their last two fixtures, conceding late goals to AFC Bournemouth and Burnley. Javi Gracia has turned Watford around, but one more win should see the Hornets remain in the Premier League for the 2018/19 campaign.
Town have struggled to produce goals in recent weeks, netting seven in their last seven fixtures, four of which came in the win over AFC Bournemouth in gameweek 27. They approach this game with the reverse fixture in mind, as they took a quick 2-0 lead, going onto net four goals in their win over Watford.Embed from Getty Images
If the Terriers are to retain their Premier League status, the play of forward, Steve Mounié is key. His nine goals are tops for Town, “He is a threat…he will score some more goals,” said David Wagner. The play of Aaron Mooy is vital, as he has 11 chances created over the last six games while the play of youngster, Alex Pritchard “gets better and better.” according to Wagner, 46.
Watford have just a single point in their last four games, dropping a 90’+2 goal, home to Bournemouth, which was followed up by a 2-1 loss that saw goals just three minutes apart that gave Burnley a win coming from behind. The lack of concentration defensively has been a concern recently, as they have given up 12 goals in just four games. A call for change at the back could allow Heurehlo Gomes back into the starting XI, as he brings experience, leadership and a captain like presence on the pitch.Embed from Getty Images
The Hornets had been playing better, as Roberto Pereyra has taken over the starting spot from Richarlison, while Kiko Femenia has played out of position on the right wing. Going forward Watford have scored three goals in the last two games, as Pererya put in a great shift against Bournemouth, scoring his fourth of the season. Will Hughes continues to impress, now back from injury, and will be key in the centre of the pitch, as he dictates play and creates opportunities for his teammates.
Huddersfield: (4-4-1-1): Lössl, Jørgensen, Schindler, Kongolo, Hadergjonaj, van la Parra, Hoog, Mooy, Pritchard, Mounié
Watford (4-2-3-1): Karezis, Holebas, Britos, Prödl, Janmaat, Capoue, Doucouré, Pereyra, Hughes, Femenia, Deeney
Predicted Score: Huddersfield 0 Watford 0
With just a single home win in the last seven for the Terriers, coupled with no wins away in seven games from Vicarage Road and just a single goal, I think we will struggle to see either team create chances. Don’t see any goals in this 0-0 draw, as one point moves Watford closer to the safety, but not securing all three points for Town could see them finish the week closer to relegation.
Written by Stephen Toumi.