There is a huge Premier League battle taking place at Vicarage Road on Friday evening (20:00 KO), as 17th-placed Watford play host to 18th-placed Norwich City (1/16 – to be relegated), in a game that could have huge implications on the relegation scene.
Just one place and one point separates these two teams heading into the crucial contest, but the Canaries, who built some momentum with a 2-1 victory over Everton last time out, have played two more games than the Hornets.
Watford are also buoyed ahead of the fixture after they grabbed a late equaliser to draw 1-1 at fellow strugglers Newcastle United last weekend, a result that kept the Hertfordshire-based outfit out of the bottom three.
Despite that point on Tyneside, Claudio Ranieri’s men are still on an awful run of form and are without a win from their last eight matches across all competitions, while they have tasted success just once from the previous 11 outings.
However, the Hornets (8/15 – to be relegated) have had the beating of Norwich of late, winning the last five clashes, and they have outscored the Canaries 9-2 during this impressive streak.
Ranieri has the same squad to choose from following the draw at Newcastle, with Imran Louza, Adam Masina and William Troost-Ekong still competing at the Africa Cup of Nations.
As for City, they are without goalkeeper Tim Krul after he was ruled out with a shoulder injury, but Kenny McLean returns after overcoming Covid, while Max Aarons and Brandon Williams are both available to Dean Smith.
Watford remain the only side in England’s top four divisions without a league clean sheet this season, having conceded in a club record 29 successive top-flight matches since a 3-0 win against Liverpool in February 2020, and both teams to score is available at 8/11.