Norwich v Watford: Hornets to pile on pain for struggling Canaries

Watford boss Xisco Munoz
Xisco Munoz led Watford to two wins over Norwich last season
  • Norwich City vs Watford
  • Sat 18 Sep, 15:00

Norwich host Watford this weekend in a match which has already taken on plenty of significance and Simon Mail thinks the visitors hold the edge...

"Their record against Norwich is excellent with Watford winning the last four league meetings. This includes both of Xisco Munoz's games in charge last season."

Norwich needing wins after tough start

Norwich coasted to the Championship title last season, with this weekend's opponents Watford following in second place, but Daniel Farke's side have found life tough back in the Premier League. The Canaries finished bottom two seasons ago in the top flight and the team are already propping up the table after losing their first four matches.

A difficult fixture list certainly has not helped Norwich's cause with an opening loss at home to Liverpool followed by a 5-0 thrashing at champions Manchester City. Leicester won 2-1 at Carrow Road before Norwich lost 1-0 last weekend at Arsenal.

Their only goal scored was a Teemu Pukki penalty and Norwich's lack of goals has to be a concern even at this early stage.

Watford struggling for goals after opening win

Watford marked their return to the Premier League with an entertaining 3-2 home win over Aston Villa. Debut goals from Emmanuel Dennis and Cucho Hernandez delighted fans at Vicarage Road, with Ismaila Sarr also scoring from a deflected effort. But this early breakthrough has not provided momentum with the Hornets losing their last three league games.

Xisco Munoz's side produced a limp first-half display in their 2-0 defeat at Brighton and followed up with a 1-0 loss at Tottenham. Watford based last season's promotion on an outstanding home record but last weekend's 2-0 defeat to visitors Wolves was a worrying setback. Sarr is their main attacking outlet and it is not easy to identify where the goals will come from if the Senegal winger is kept quiet by the opposition.

farke.jpg

Canaries difficult to trust as favourites

This already has the look of a vital contest between two teams likely to be locked in a fight to avoid relegation this season. Norwich are 2.265/4 favourites but the hosts look far too short to be trusted. Farke's side have failed to win any of their last 14 Premier League games stretching back to the 2019-20 campaign. Norwich have only managed eight shots on target this season - the lowest return in the league - and could struggle to end their winless run this weekend.

Watford are 3.613/5 to claim a first away win of the season and the visitors look are a much more appealing proposition than Norwich. Their record against Norwich is excellent with Watford winning the last four league meetings. This includes both of Munoz's games in charge last season. Watford have also won six of their last nine trips to Carrow Road.

The draw has been well backed at 3.55/2 in a contest that is expected to be closely matched. There has not been a draw in the last nine games between Norwich and Watford but with both teams struggling for goals, a stalemate would be no surprise.

Watford will look to utilise Sarr's pace on the counter-attack and the visitors look worth siding with to maintain their recent dominance over Norwich.

Backing Watford in the draw no bet market at 2.568/5 stands out in a match which could prove another disappointment for Farke's side.

No guarantee of high-scoring affair

The lack of a potent finisher in the final third could prove costly at the end of the season for these teams and is likely to produce a tense, low-scoring match. Both of Watford's wins against Norwich last season finished 1-0 and a similar scoreline is entirely feasible. The Canaries are still looking for their first goal from open play in the league.

With the shortage of goals on offer, betting against both teams scoring at 1.9720/21 is a strong consideration. Under 2.5 goals is rightly deemed likely at 1.774/5 but a better alternative at a bigger price could be to back under 1.5 goals in a potentially cagey affair at 3.211/5.

Opta Stat

Norwich have lost each of their last 14 Premier League games, scoring just twice and conceding 35 goals in this run.

Follow Simon's bets on Twitter @watfordtipster

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