Burnley have chance to climb out of bottom three
Burnley are still stuck on just a single Premier League win after drawing 0-0 with West Ham at the weekend.
By this stage of the season, that would normally suggest their top-flight status was in huge danger. But a check of the latest relegation betting shows the Clarets only fourth favourites for the drop at 1.9210/11.
Third favourites i.e. one of the trio the market expects to go down, are Wednesday night's opponents Watford. And victory for Burnley would see the two flip flop in the table,
Long-term history suggests Sean Dyche's men are in big trouble as nine of of the last 10 sides to win only one (or fewer) of their first 15 games of a Premier League campaign suffered relegation. That stat isn't good news for Newcastle either.
But those judging recent history know that Dyche always finds a way to slowly climb the table. This looks an obvious opportunity to begin that ascent.
Watford defensive record a major concern
Watford have had a couple of real highs since Claudio Ranieri became the latest manager to be handed the coaching job at Vicarage Road.
They were thrashed 5-0 at home by Liverpool in his opening game but then scored notable victories over Watford and Manchester United in two of their next four outings. They ran riot late on at Goodison to win 5-2 and then added two 90th minute goals to complete a rousing 4-1 victory over United.
But since that game at Vicarage Road which proved the death knell for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Hornets have lost four straight. It means Ranieri's record is now two wins and and seven losses in his nine games: six points from a possible 27.
That's relegation form and Ranieri will surely need to start getting more wins to avoid the usual fate of Watford managers.
The obvious problem is the defence. Ranieri inherited a side unable to keep clean sheets and he's not been able to stop the rot. Watford have played 15 Premier League games so far and are yet to register a shutout.
Goals market appeals more than match market
A look at the match market shows Burnley as the 2.226/5 favourites. Watford are 3.613/5 while The Draw is 3.55/2.
It's quite a stretch to make a convincing argument for any of those outcomes. Burnley have one win in 15 this season, Watford have lost six of their last seven while the visitors just don't do draws: one in 16 so far.
In terms of past head-to-heads, Burnley come rather more into focus as they've won two and drawn one of the last three. They've kept a clean sheet in all those games and that helps guide me towards the goals market.
Burnley are the joint-third lowest scorers in the Premier League with 14 goals in 15 so don't even average one per game. They've dried up completely of late with Dyche's men failing to score in each of their last three matches. Hardly a surprise given that they managed a grand total of three shots on target across that trio of games.
Watford can score goals although they created precious little against Brentford and are clearly missing the injured Ismaila Sarr.
Because Watford let plenty in, the goals markets quote are quite balanced but I'm definitely far more attracted to Under 2.5 at 1.910/11 than Overs at 2.0621/20.
Defensive stalwarts Nick Pope, Ben Mee and James Tarkowski dealt with everything West Ham threw at them and the hosts will be hard to breach.
New signing Maxwell Cornet could throw a spanner in the works for the Unders bet if he returns from injury as the Ivorian's presence does tend to lead to more goals at both ends. But Dyche may have noted this and could be happier to play his more solid starting XI from the 0-0 against West Ham and bring Cornet on as a sub if the game is tight.
Dennis looks best scorer option
Burnley produced a flurry of goals in recent home matches against Brentford and Crystal Palace. But you can imagine that 3-3 draws (v Palace) won't exactly put Dyche in his comfort zone.
Maxwell Cornet is their top scorer with five so it's worth checking team news nearer the start to see if he plays or makes the bench.
Chris Wood is next best with three and two of those have come in the last three home matches.
On the Bet Builder, Wood to score in a Burnley win is around 3.185/40.
Emmanuel Dennis is by far the man most likely for Watford and the man who scored 10 minutes into his Premier League debut now has five goals in his last seven after nodding the opener at Brentford.
Dennis has scored in three of his last four away games so the quotes of 4.03/1 about him scoring anytime look big. Let's play.
Watford have taken just two points from their 39 available away from home in Premier League games played on Wednesdays (W0 D2 L11), with those points coming at Stoke in January 2018 (0-0) and Bournemouth in January 2019 (3-3).