Pointless Wycombe welcome high-flying Watford to Adams Park on Tuesday night. Mark O'Haire expects the Hornets' class to prove decisive...
"The Hornets have made steady progress under new boss Vladimir Ivic (W4-D2-L1), conceding just two goals thus far"
Wycombe v Watford
Tuesday October 27, 19:45
Wycombe staying postiive
Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth believes his side will 'absolutely stay up' despite a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat at Norwich. The hosts took the lead through Teemu Pukki's third-minute opener, but nine minutes later, the Chairboys equalised through Scott Kashket's opportunistic finish. However, Wanderers were dealt a cruel late blow at Carrow Road.
The Championship newcomers held their own in the opening 45 minutes and looked to be heading for their maiden point of the campaign. But in the first-minute of stoppage time, Mario Vrancic's stunning 20-yard free-kick settled matters. It was hard for Wycombe to stomach as replays showed that the 'foul' which led to the free-kick was incorrect.
Despite a seventh successive defeat, Ainsworth remained positive post-match, saying: "It's a defeat and people will think I'm crazy for picking positives. But these boys will absolutely stay up if they play like that. That's three games on the spin where we maybe deserved something but it's coming." Uche Ikpeazu could be included from the off on Tuesday.
Watford denied at the death
Watford were made to pay the price for not killing the game off as an equaliser deep into stoppage time snatched a last-gasp 1-1 draw for Bournemouth at Vicarage Road on Saturday. The Hornets were heading towards a fourth 1-0 Championship success through Stipe Perica's first goal but were unable to see the contest out amidst late pressure.
Vladimir Ivic's side had otherwise done what they are becoming increasingly good at, getting their noses in front through a quality goal, and challenged their opponents to try and break them down. Once again, their organisation and resilience looked like being enough, only for the afternoon to end in a sense of frustration and irritation.
Ivic shuffled his pack for the second of three games his side faced within a week. Back came Jeremy Nagakia and William Troost-Ekong, while Perica debuted in attack following his summer move from Udinese. Surprisingly, Joao Pedro dropped to a bench that once again included Etienne Capoue, with both now in the running to start in Tuesday night's tussle.
Hornets odds-on at Adams Park
There's only around 18 miles between Wycombe and Watford but the two teams have only crossed swords six times in history, playing in the same division just twice between 1996 and 1998. The Hornets do enjoy a W4-D2-L0 supremacy over the Chairboys and have kept their sheets clean in four of the most recent five head-to-heads across all competitions
Wycombe 8.6015/2 head into Tuesday's match-up without a point on the board after their unlikely promotion from League One. Gareth Ainsworth's outfit have scored just twice in those seven defeats, both arguably arriving via defensive and/or goalkeeping gaffes. Nevertheless, the Chairboys have been competitive in their last three league outings.
Norwich went off as 1.201/5 favourites at home to Wycombe on Saturday and so it's no surprise to see Watford chalked up as short 1.528/15 jollies at Adams Park. The Hornets have made steady progress under new boss Vladimir Ivic (W4-D2-L1), conceding just two goals thus far. The visitors have silenced four of their six Championship opponents under Ivic.
Watford to pick up narrow success
Four of Wycombe's first seven fixtures have featured fewer than three goals and the Buckinghamshire boys' last encounter was heading the same way before a last-minute intervention. With the Chairboys struggling in the final-third - and Watford proving so resolute defensively, it's easy to see why the away win to nil might appeal at 2.10.
The Hornets have seen Under 2.5 Goals 1.804/5 in six of their seven contests - five of which produced no more than a solitary strike - and so I'm happier taking a slightly more cautious option and supporting Watford to win alongside Under 3.5 Goals at 1.80 via the Same Game Multi market on Betfair Sportsbook. It's landed in six of Wycombe's seven losses.
Mark's 2020/21 Profit/Loss
Staked: 22.00 pts
Returned: 27.58 pts
P/L: +5.58 pts