Simon Mail previews the Premier League clash between Watford and Bournemouth at Vicarage Road where the Hornets can make home advantage count...
"Having come through a dip in form, Watford appear to be back in the groove again and have lost just one of their last nine matches against Bournemouth."
Watford 2.466/4 v Bournemouth 3.3512/5; The Draw 3.3512/5
It has been an excellent season for the Hornets following their promotion back to the Premier League. Watford were expected to struggle by many but Quique Sanchez Flores' side have adapted superbly to the top flight. Sitting ninth in the table, Watford have virtually secured their status for next season with relegation worries a thing of the past.
The Hornets had a slight wobble at the turn of the year, with a five-match winless run, but any concerns were quickly quashed and the team are firmly back on track again. Watford are through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and picked up a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace in their last league game after captain Troy Deeney netted a brace at Selhurst Park.
While it has been extremely comfortable for Watford, last year's Championship winners have found the transition to the Premier League more difficult. Eddie Howe's side have won plenty of admirers for their entertaining style of football. But the Cherries got off to a slow start in the league with just two wins until the start of December.
It has got steadily better for Bournemouth since then with five league wins boosting their hopes of avoiding the drop. But there is still plenty of work to do with the Cherries only four points clear of the bottom three in 15th place. Bournemouth have lost their last three games in all competitions which has left them looking over their shoulders.
Watford come into this match as deserving favourites at 2.486/4. After all, the Hornets are eight points clear of their opponents and have home advantage. Having come through a dip in form, Watford appear to be back in the groove again and have lost just one of their last nine matches against Bournemouth.
Flores' side have made a habit out of beating the teams towards the foot of the table with wins over the bottom five in the division. Watford may not have beaten Bournemouth in the first match this season, after a 1-1 draw, but will fancy their chances of turning them over at Vicarage Road. The hosts look worth backing to consolidate their place in the top ten with three points.
Bournemouth's away record has certainly improved significantly over the last three months but they have failed to win any of the last five games at Watford and their odds appear to be on the short side at 3.259/4. The draw is priced up marginally bigger at 3.3512/5 and this may appeal to some with three of the last four meetings between the sides ending 1-1.
Watford have found a way to win frequently this season but there have been plenty of occasions where the margin of victory has been slender. The Hornets' last five wins have all been by one goal and their overall record this season has seen nine of their 13 victories by this margin. Bournemouth will be certainly not roll over and if the hosts are to prevail the value bet could be to back a narrow success.
Back Watford to win at 2.486/4
Back Watford to win by one goal at 4.1
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Simon Mail 2015/16 Season P/L
Staked: 28 pts
Returned: 20.45 pts
P/L: -7.65 pts