Watford vs Burnley Preview: Confident Clarets looking to sting leaky Hornets defence

Watford vs Burnley Preview: Confident Clarets looking to sting leaky Hornets defence

Burnley are searching for a fourth consecutive victory after ending a run of eleven games without a win.

chris-lincoln
Chris Lincoln

Watford are looking to build upon a six-match undefeated streak at Vicarage Road but will have to solidify a leaky defence that has seen them ship ten goals in their last three games.

Watford strong at home but Burnley have impressed on their travels

In contrast, Burnley will arrive in North London after scoring seven goals in their last three with attacking duo Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes sharing all of those strikes between them.

The Clarets won all three of their March fixtures and are looking for a trio of successive away victories for the first time in the Premier League. However, they must overturn a poor recent record at Vicarage Road, failing to win in their last three visits.

Yet Sean Dyche's side are much improved on the road, picking up six victories away from home this season which is already one more than their previous two Premier League campaigns combined. They will also be boosted after defeating Watford at Turf Moor earlier in the season.

Pressure on Doucoure and Deeney for the hosts

The hosts are missing a string of key players across the pitch. Defenders Christian Kabasele and Younes Kaboul are injured whilst Miguel Britos is a doubt after coming down with illness last week.

Tom Cleverley, Gerard Deulofeu and Nathaniel Chalobah will limit options in midfield for Javi Garcia so a weight of responsibility will be placed on the shoulders of Abdoulaye Doucouré. The French powerhouse has played more passes and made more tackles than any other player in both sides, whilst only Chris Wood has netted more times in the top-flight this season.

However, captain Troy Deeney is capturing some consistent form and will be looking to boost an impressive record against Burnley with goals in four consecutive fixtures.

Such recent form is something Richarlison can only dream of. The midfielder has played a part in more goals than any other Watford player this season after an impressive first half of the campaign but has since failed to score or assist in his last 15 matches.

Two or one up top and who to play in goal?

Sean Dyche will be tasked with deciding whether to play 4-5-1 or 4-4-2 from the start. Over their last three fixtures, the Clarets have failed to score and conceded two when playing the more defensive formation but scored seven when pairing form players Wood and Barnes together during a similar period of time. With Watford conceding ten and only scoring two in the same number of games, the temptation must be to open up the game with the more attacking formation.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson is a doubt for the visitors alongside Ben Mee but captain Tom Heaton is back in contention after recovering from a shoulder injury. Dyche faces another headache when deciding his goalkeeper after an impressive season produced by Nick Pope that caught the eye of England manager Gareth Southgate.

Burnley will continue their quest for a potential Europa League spot if they avoid defeat on Saturday whilst Watford can climb back into the top ten if they continue their solid recent form at Vicarage Road.

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