Huddersfield Town have been struggling in the past couple of months, but Kevin Hatchard thinks the visit of ailing Watford provides a glorious opportunity for the Terriers...
"Watford have taken just one point from their last nine away games, so this is a huge opportunity for Huddersfield to make home advantage count."
Huddersfield Town v Watford
Saturday April 14, 15:00
Huddersfield running out of chances to pull clear
One of the things that always strikes me about Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner is his honesty. He admits that in terms of quality, his players are fighting against the odds every week. He knows that sometimes his tactical plans are rendered useless by the ability of Premier League opposition to put their stamp on a game. Wagner is also well aware that to win a game at this level, his players have to maximize their potential and hope their opponents have an off day.
Huddersfield's next two home games against Watford and Everton may well define whether they survive as a Premier League club, or return to the Championship at the first time of asking. Their final three matches of the campaign see them face Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal.
On that basis, Wagner may have to loosen the shackles and be a bit more attacking in this game. The Terriers have drawn a blank in seven of their last ten top-flight matches, and they can ill afford to do so once again. The coach insists he is excited by the conclusion of the relegation battle, and that he has seen lots of positive signs in training.
Skipper Jonathan Hogg is expected to be fit after picking up a minor injury against Brighton. Striker Elias Kachunga has been ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury.
Watford still not safe after alarming slump
Watford boss Javi Gracia looked as baffled as anyone after his side's curious home defeat to Burnley. Having started the match incredibly well and taken a deserved lead at Vicarage Road through Roberto Pereyra, Watford gifted the visitors two goals in three minutes with sloppy defending and non-existent marking.
It means the Hornets have conceded 12 goals in their last four games, and have collected just one point in that time. One more win will get them to the magic 40-point mark, but until they get that victory, they won't quite be able to relax. The 4-1 hammering of Chelsea seems like a long time ago, even though it was only in February.
It is unlikely that Watford will be relegated, but looking ahead to next term, Gracia must address the team's atrocious away form. Watford haven't scored in any of their last five road matches in the league, they haven't won away from home in the Premier League since November, and they have taken a solitary point from the last nine away games.
Watford are so awful away from home that Huddersfield must see this as a golden opportunity. They have only won one of their last eight home matches, but that sequence has included visits from Liverpool and Chelsea, and overall this term they have won five times on home soil. There were some encouraging signs in the draw at Brighton, so I'll back Huddersfield Draw No Bet at [1.93].
Watford have stopped scoring on the road, while Huddersfield have the joint-worst attacking record in the division, and have scored just once in their last five games. Therefore, you can understand why Under 2.5 Goals is trading at [1.68].
I suppose if you want to make a case for backing overs at [2.32], you could point to Watford's dreadful recent defensive record, and the fact they have leaked 59 goals in 33 league games this term.
Kevin Hatchard English Football 2017-18 P/L
Points Staked: 51
Points Returned: 77.2
P/L: +26.2 points