Norwich City vs Watford Preview: Premier League's bottom two collide in a desperate bid for three points
Troy Deeney is in the Watford squad for the first time since August, having contributed to four goals in his last two fixtures against Norwich (Photo: Getty Images)

Last year they netted 145 league goals between them at an average of 1.7 per game. This season, they have scored a combined tally of 17 from 22 matches - 0.8 per game.

One side blitzed their way to the Championship title whilst the other reached an FA Cup Final, only slipping from top seven contention in the last few games of the campaign. Both clubs were given great credit for their attacking, free-flowing football.

Now, Norwich City and Watford find themselves stranded in the relegation zone, the former with the worst form in the league and the latter having yet to register a single victory.

Can Cantwell regain his form?

But both clubs have received a timely injury boost ahead of a fixture where coming away with three points is an absolute must.

When Norwich registered two wins in their first five matches, Todd Cantwell was in great form, manufacturing a lethal partnership with Teemu Pukki who netted six in his first five.

Yet, it perhaps comes as no surprise that the goals have dried up for the Finn since his young English teammate has struggled for form in attacking areas.

Cantwell has also really suffered at the other end of the pitch, switching off for Manchester United's opener in Norwich's last home fixture before losing Shane Duffy as Brighton killed the contest last weekend.

Daniel Farke will be hoping that a return to fitness will bring back some form for Cantwell with the German's side also bolstered by the return of Ibrahim Amadou, who should slot in at centre-back, allowing Alex Tettey to compete in the middle of the park. Mario Vrancic adds further competition to the midfield area as he returns from a lengthy period on the sidelines.

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Deeney return is vital

Goals have been a major problem for Watford - just six in eleven Premier League games.

But their captain, Troy Deeney, has not featured since matchday two and returns ahead of schedule from a knee operation.

Although he did not score in the opening two games of the season, Deeney has finished as Watford's top league goalscorer in four of the last eight campaigns and just his presence in the matchday squad should drive the Hornets into a new gear.

Deeney is one of a quintet of Watford players returning to the squad with José Holebas, Etienne Capoue, Sebastian Prödl and Ismaïla Sarr adding options to the side.

Goals, goals, goals

Despite the lack of goals scored this season, the expectation is for the net to bulge a number of times when these two clubs meet on Friday night.

Only Southampton have a worse defensive record than either side, after shipping nine against Leicester, and there have been 23 goals scored in the last six meetings - Norwich winning five of those.

They shared the spoils during their only two Premier League meetings four seasons ago, Deeney scoring two and creating another two in a 4-2 defeat and 2-0 victory both in favour of the home side.

Watford haven't kept a clean sheet in any of their last 12 away league games against Norwich but Alex Tettey is the only remaining player to have scored against them - back in August 2014 and he has only netted four times since then

Unwanted records

Watford are currently enduring their worst run of form ever in the top tier and defeat on Friday would ensure they become just the sixth team in 27 seasons of the Premier League to fail to notch a victory in the opening 12 games of the campaign.

That said, Norwich don't enjoy Premier League football on a Friday night, losing both previous fixtures they have played before the weekend.

Defeat for either side would leave them bottom of the table not just for the weekend but at least for another fortnight with the international break looming.

The two teams in yellow will be hoping that victory can brighten that short period, although a loss could spiral them into a deep, dark winter ahead.

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