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Burnley vs Watford: Match preview and predicted line-ups

Burnley

Burnley vs Watford: Match preview and predicted line-ups

Lancashire outfit Burnley welcome Walter Mazzarri’s improving Watford side to Turf Moor in Matchday VI’s Monday Night Football showpiece in front of the Sky cameras. Sean Dyche’s Clarets go into the contest against his former club a mere point above the drop zone, sitting in 16th place with four points, but could well be in the bottom three by the time they come to face the Hornets, with all the sides in and around them in action over the weekend.

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Watford on the other hand are ninth in the fledgling Premier League table with seven points, after their 3-1 win over Manchester United last Sunday in Matchday V. Walter Mazzarri’s side come off the back of successive victories for the first time this season, and are improving after having taken one point from their opening three of the season.

Recent form

The hosts go into their showdown with Watford having taken only a point from their last three league matches: a 1-1 draw at home to Hull- where the Clarets were denied by a stoppage time free-kick by Robert Snodgrass- sandwiched between 3-0 defeats at Chelsea and defending champions Leicester. Scoring goals is also proving an issue for the Turf Moor outfit, having only registered three goals in their six matches in all competitions this season, including a shock 1-0 defeat in the EFL Cup away at League Two club Accrington Stanley.

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Their one win came against Liverpool on the second weekend of the season, the Clarets stunning Jurgen Klopp’s Reds with a 2-0 victory after quick fire first-half goals from Sam Vokes and Andre Gray, and manager Sean Dyche will be hoping his side start similarly on the front foot against the Hornets.

Walter Mazzarri’s Watford in contrast have begun to make strides after their slow start. They were winless in their first three league games, taking a solitary point after a 1-1 draw at Southampton and back-to-back home defeats against Chelsea and Arsenal. They also saw their EFL Cup hopes go out of the window early on, following a 2-1 home defeat to League One side Gillingham. However, Watford responded with a sensational comeback at West Ham United to win 4-2 having been two goals down after half an hour, and that win seems to have ignited their campaign after they followed up with a 3-1 home victory over Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. That win puts Watford ninth going into the weekend. They have also had substantially more joy in front of goal than their upcoming opponents, scoring 11 times in their six matches in all competitions.

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Predicted line-ups

Sean Dyche is expected to revert to a 4-4-2 formation for the visit of Watford to Turf Moor after a defensive five-man midfield failed to contain Leicester City last time out at the King Power Stadium. Dyche’s preferred goalkeeper and back four should remain the same, Tom Heaton starting in goal, with Matt Lowton, Michael Keane, Ben Mee and Stephen Ward making up the defence. Johann Berg Gudmundsson is expected to replace Scott Arfield on the right, with Dean Marney and Steven Defour making up the midfield pair, with record signing Jeff Hendrick starting on the bench, and George Boyd on the left wing. Sam Vokes should return to the starting eleven to partner Andre Gray as Burnley look to take the game to Watford.

Walter Mazzarri is expected to stick with the same 3-4-1-2 formation that worked to such great effect against Manchester United, but may make changes to his starting eleven to go more attacking against Burnley and prove more of a threat on the counter, with the Clarets likely to attack Watford at home. Heurelho Gomes will remain in goal after a solid display against the Red Devils, with Craig Cathcart. Sebastian Prodl and Miguel Britos the three in front of him.

Nordin Amrabat is expected to start ahead of Daryl Janmaat on the right of the four man midfield, with an in-form Etienne Capoue partnering Valon Behrami. Jose Holebas will provide the width down the left, with Roberto Pereyra the link in the hole between the midfield and the forward-line, comprising of Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo. Juan Zuniga, who scored Watford’s winner against United, is expected to start on the bench.

                            Burnley predicted starting XI                                                    Watford predicted starting XI

Suspensions/injuries

Sean Dyche has a fully fit squad to choose from as his Burnley side prepare to face his former club Watford. Neither side has any suspensions to contend with ahead of the Monday Night Football clash, though Watford have one absentee through injury in forward Stefano Okaka Chuka, whose hamstring injury will keep him out of action until roughly mid-October.

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Our prediction

Burnley are in need of a victory to pull themselves away from trouble, and it may be even more integral that they win depending on what happens over the course of the weekend’s action. Walter Mazzarri’s Watford though are finding their rhythm, but Turf Moor is a very tough place to go in the Premier League, with Liverpool one to have already found out the hard way. With only one defeat in their three home games, Dyche’s Burnley are expected to add to their home record, but Mazzarri’s Watford will equally have the quality to hold their own. There’s potential for goals in this one, and we fancy a 2-2 draw.

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