Sunderland vs Watford Preview: Hornets look to get back to winning ways as they travel to the Stadium of Light

Sunderland vs Watford Preview: Hornets look to get back to winning ways as they travel to the Stadium of Light

Watford look to bounce back from defeat in midweek as they face a Sunderland side struggling at the foot of the Premier League.

Adam Whiteside

Watford travel to the Stadium of Light on Saturday to face basement club Sunderland, with both sides looking to get back to winning ways.

The Hornets suffered a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City in midweek which marked their third loss in their last four Premier League outings.

Similarly, Sunderland have also lost three of their last four league games after being edged out by current table-toppers Chelsea thanks to a Cesc Fabregas goal on Wednesday night.

Watford looking to bounce back

Walter Mazzarri's side have been incosistent as of late after back-to-back defeats to Stoke City and West Brom they looked to have turned the corner with an impressive victory over Everton.

However, a loss to Manchester City has slowed the Hornets down and has seen them fall into the bottom half of the Premier League.

While Watford were climbing high just over a month ago they still only remain two points behind West Brom in 7th place and are comfortably clear of any relegation worries. A goal for Troy Deeney would see him hit 100 for Watford; a feat he's been trying to achieve for nine games now.

​Sunderland looking to climb off bottom

​Two wins in three games looked to be a turn in fortune for David Moyes and his Sunderland side but last weekend's 3-0 defeat to fellow strugglers Swansea has taken the Black Cats back to square one.

A narrow defeat to Chelsea in midweek meant they couldn't climb off the bottom of the Premier League table and now sit one point behind Hull and Swansea.

However, Sunderland will go into the game confident they can beat an incosistent Watford side and begin to close the gap on 17th placed Middlesbrough.

​What the managers said

​Watford head coach Mazzarri said regarding Deeney: "These are the moments that can happen for a forward to have in his career.

"He was unlucky last week because he had chances to score and didn't. Maybe he's feeling the pressure of these 100 goals but for us it's just important he plays for the team and then scores.

"I'm not sure if it will be good for him to have had rest or not, we will see."

​Sunderland boss Moyes said: "I was pleased with the performance against Chelsea and in the end their keeper made some good saves.

"We have to win our home games if we want to stay in the Premier League. We are aiming for three points for Watford

"It will be a tight game, a close one and we need to make sure we win it."

​Last time the teams met

​The last time the two teams met was on the final day of the 2015-16 season. Sunderland managed to avoid relegation while Watford acheived their highest league finish since the 1986-87 season.

The 2-2 draw saw Sunderland take the lead through Jack Rodwell before half-time. Sebastian Prodl equalised for Watford before the visitors again went in front through Jeremain Lens. However, a Troy Deeney penalty on the hour-mark levelled an end-to-end game.

Three of the last five meetings between the sides have resulted in a draw.

​Team News

​​Jan Kirchhoff will miss the game for Sunderland after sufferng a cartilage tear in the 1-0 loss to Chelsea on Wednesday.

Steven Pienaar and Victor Anichebe will both face late fitness tests.

Watford will be without playmaker Robert Pereyra who picked up a knee injury at the Etihad in midweek.

Craig Cathcart is sidelined but Younes Kaboul and Valeron Behrami are set to return.

​Predicted Starting XI's

Sunderland: ​Pickford; Kone, O'Shea, Djilobodji, Jones; Larsson, Denayer, Khazri, van Aanholt; Defoe, Anichebe.

Watford: ​Gomes; Janmaat, Prodl, Britos, Holebas; Amrabat, Capoue, Guedioura, Zuniga; Deeney, Ighalo.