Norwich City host winless Watford in a key battle at the bottom of the Premier League.
Carrow Road, Norwich, England
Key Stat: Watford's winless streak in the Premier League has now stretched to 15 matches.
Expert Verdict: Watford's search for a first Premier League win of the season goes on, with 19th-placed Norwich City next up. Both teams desperately need a win, but the Canaries' home advantage - and the fact they have actually won a couple of games this season - makes them favourites.
Mario Vrancic could be fit to play for the Canaries, leaving just Grant Hanley, Christoph Zimmermann and Timm Klose on the Norwich injury list. Todd Cantwell, Ibrahim Amadou and Mortiz Leitner could be among the players to return.
Teemu Pukki – Still not scored since his strike against Manchester City, but the Finnish striker has showed just how important he is up front for the Canaries.
Todd Cantwell – Pushing for a recall, having started the season in fine form – linking up well with Pukki and claiming two goals and two assists.
Alex Tettey – Among the players fit again, he is important in the middle of the park – be it in defensive midfield or central defence.
Norwich are without a win in their last six games, losing five of those. Their only point was a goalless draw at Bournemouth. Since then, they have lost 3-1 at home to Manchester United – Onel Hernandez scoring the Canaries’ late consolation. Last weekend, they lost 2-0 at Brighton.
Defenders:Max Aarons, Ben Godfrey, Ibrahim Amadou, Jamal Lewis
Defensive Midfielders:Moritz Letiner, Alex Tettey
Attacking Midfielders:Emiliano Buendia, Kenny McLean, Todd Cantwell
Etienne Capoue is the closest of the players on Watford’s long injury list to a recovery – he was said to be near to fitness before last weekend’s Chelsea game and both he and Tom Cleverley could be back in the squad this weekend. Craig Cathcart (back) is the latest to join the injury list, while Troy Deeney, Ismaila Sarr and Domingos Quina are out until after the international break. Danny Welbeck sis a long-term absentee.
Gerard Deulofeu – Broke Watford’s attacking drought last time out and the tricky forward remains their most obvious threat up front.
Roberto Pereyra – Recently been playing up front as a result of their attacking shortage and lack of goals, but he has proved before he knows where the net is.
Ben Foster – Almost scored an equaliser last weekend, but the goalkeeper needs to keep them out at the other end this time in a game that could be defined by fine margins.
Watford’s search for a first Premier League win of the season goes on. They drew three games in a row, against Sheffield United, Spurs and AFC Bournemouth, but have since lost their last two. Everton beat them 2-0 at Goodison Park, before last weekend’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea. Gerard Deulofeu scored a late penalty but the Hornets could not find an equaliser.
Defenders:Daryl Janmaat, Christian Kabasele, Craig Cathcart, Craig Dawson, Jose Holebas
Midfielders:Tom Cleverley, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Etienne Capoue
Forwards:Gerard Deulofeu, Robert Pereyra
Watford and Norwich were promoted together in 2015, in a season in which the Canaries won 3-0 at home and away. In the Premier League the following season, Watford won 2-0 at Vicarage Road, while Norwich won the reverse fixture 4-2 at Carrow Road. The result was not enough to stop them being relegated on the same night, however. This will, therefore, be their first meeting since. Watford have 27 wins and 29 draws in this fixture, but that win was Norwich’s 42nd.
Norwich and Watford meet in a Premier League basement battle that could see one of them cast adrift at the bottom of the league.
Norwich are winless in six, since beating champions Manchester City, and have barely scored in that time either – two late consolations in heavy defeats all they have to their credit.
Watford are winless all season, meanwhile, in the Premier League and also suffering from a worry dearth of goals.
Quique Sanchez Flores has at least fixed some of their defensive issues since taking charge, but they continue to struggle goals- and results-wise.
The key then could be whether Teemu Pukki rediscovers his goalscoring touch. If he does, there has been little evidence Watford have the attacking prowess to muster a response.
Norwich’s injury list has reduced lately, but Watford’s remains a long one until at least after the forthcoming international break.
That is another reason to think Norwich – who have won twice this season, compared to the Hornets’ zero – could edge this encounter at Carrow Road.
It means that by the time the Hornets’ injured players return, they could be five points behind Norwich above them.
Norwich have home advantage but they are similar priced to Watford and indeed minor outsiders in some places. Watford are a best price of 8/5 with Betway, while the Canaries can be backed at 17/10 with Betfair.
There could be a lack of goals judging on their respective form so far, and you can get 13/10 from 888sport and Betfair on there being under 2.5 goals. Under 1.5 goals will return 19/5 with Paddy Power and 888sport.
Betting against both teams to score has been set at 31/20 with Betfair, Paddy Power and 888sport.
Teemu Pukki was Norwich’s attacking star at the start of the season and the Finn is a best price of 6/5 with Bet365, Betfair and Paddy Power to score at any time.
The Canaries are as desperate to get back to winning ways as winless Watford, but their home advantage could be the difference in a game of fine margins.