Watford v Bournemouth: Mid-table pair set for some spoil-sharing

Watford strikers Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo have returned to form in recent weeks
Watford strikers Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo have returned to form in recent weeks

Skirmishes between Watford and Bournemouth usually finish level, and the latest should be no exception...


"Four of the past five meetings between the pair promoted together in 2014/15 ended even, so the draw is both the biggest-priced and most attractive outcome option at 3.412/5."

Watford 2.427/5 v Bournemouth 3.3512/5; The Draw 3.412/5
Saturday, 15:00

Ref Watch: Mike Dean

Dean has officiated five Premier League games this season and alternates between relatively serene outings - four bookings or fewer - and card-flashing sprees - seven bookings in one, seven and a red in the other. If the pattern holds, this will be one of his livelier afternoons.


Watford

After one of the finest fortnights in their Premier League existence, rallying from 2-0 down to become the first English guests to beat West Ham at the London Stadium and then defeating Manchester United 3-1, Watford followed up with an underwhelming 2-0 loss at Burnley.

Still, sitting a point shy of a top-half place having already faced five of 2015/16's top ten and while transitioning to a new coach (Walter Mazzarri) and formation (3-5-2) is a pretty promising position.

Daryl Janmaat, Stefano Okaka and Jerome Sinclair are expected to miss the latest assignment due to injury, with the sight of two strikers on the sidelines perhaps explaining Federico Macheda's trial.


Bournemouth

The Cherries are in the opposite situation to Watford - not entirely satisfied with their five-match station after only gathering four points, yet improving the picture with a 1-0 dismissal of Everton.

It leaves them level with the Hornets, albeit four places further back owing to a vastly inferior goal difference, despite their own difficult set of fixtures, ticking off five of the current top nine.

Like last term, their treatment table has been kept occupied, though if Adam Smith, Ryan Fraser and Joshua King return on Saturday as is possible, it will leave Marc Pugh will full access to the physios.


Match Odds

Neither Watford nor Bournemouth will be fighting on the front foot. The hosts have collected four of their seven Premier League points on their three away days, while six of Bournemouth's seven have arrived at the Vitality Stadium.

Mazzarri's men have a stronger record at home than Eddie Howe's side boast on the road, but the momentum generated by their conflicting results last weekend potentially eliminates that margin, especially as the south coast side didn't lose either 2015/16 showdown despite finishing three points below and the Golden Boys winning eight of their 12 clashes with the other clubs beneath them.

Indeed, four of the past five meetings between the pair promoted together in 2014/15 ended even, so the draw is both the biggest-priced and most attractive outcome option at 3.412/5.


Odd or Even

A whopping eight of Watford's previous nine Premier League encounters had a certain characteristic in common. No, it wasn't a result, a scoreline or a goal-getter, it was the fact that they all featured an even number of goals: two on three occasions, four on three occasions and six on two.

The most recent six collisions between the Hornets and Bournemouth adhered to the same criteria, with one goalless and the other five containing two goals. An even number of strikes is a 1.9620/21 shot.


Recommended Bet: Back the draw @ 3.412/5


And what do Opta say?

Watford have kept just one clean sheet in their last 17 Premier League games - both teams to score is a 1.824/5 shot.


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