Watford v Brentford preview: How to watch, kick off time, predicted lineups and ones to watch
William Troost-Ekong concedes a penalty in this season's earlier encounter between Brentford and Watford. Getty Images / Craig Mercer

Brentford will make a small journey north into Hertfordshire as the Bees look to continue an impressive run of form against a struggling Watford.

The Hornets have lost nine in a row at Vicarage Road, which has equalled their worst ever run of form at home - a similar run only occurring fifty years ago in the 1971-72 campaign.

Thomas Frank's Brentford, meanwhile, have picked up twelve points from their last five Premier League matches; setting them well on their way to survival in their first season in the top flight.

After Everton defeated Manchester United, Watford failed to conjure up a required response as they were brushed aside 3-0 last weekend by fellow strugglers Leeds United.

With Watford now six points adrift in the relegation zone, it looks increasingly likely that the Hornets will fall back into the Championship. With only seven fixtures remaining, the Hornets need something of a miracle to stop their dreadful home rot.

Brentford, however, will be chasing down a top half finish in quite the turn of fortunes for the West London side.

Team news

Watford

Watford will be without Cucho Hernandez, who will no doubt be a huge miss for the side. Three of the Hertfordshire sides' last four goals have been scored by the Colombian; including a brace in a win at Southampton in March.

Roy Hodgson has said that "the hamstring injury is a serious one, we won't be seeing him for a considerable period of time"; in news which will be of concern to Watford fans.

Nicolas Nkoulou is available after a lengthy period out. Samuel Kalu, William Troost-Ekong, and Francisco Sierralta also miss out on Saturday's clash, although none have been regular features recently.

Brentford

For the Bees, there are no new injuries to report. Pontus Jansson missed last week's 2-0 victory against West Ham through illness, but is expected to be back for Saturday's clash and could start.

Josh Dasilva is also available, Thomas Frank has said, following a hamstring injury. Frank Onyeka is the only player unavailable for Brentford, as he recovers from a foot injury.

Predicted line-ups

Watford (4-3-3)

Foster; Femenia, Kabasele, Samir, Kamara; Kucka, Sissoko, Louza; Sarr, Joao Pedro, Dennis

Brentford (4-3-3)

Raya; Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry; Janelt, Norgaard, Eriksen; Mbeumo, Toney, Wissa

Ones to watch

Emmanuel Dennis

Once again, it is rather difficult to pinpoint a Watford player worthy of recognition. The obvious choice would have been Cucho Hernandez, who has been the sole attacking threat lately. But in missing out through injury, it is his replacement who you should keep an eye on.

That man, Emmanuel Dennis, should be expected to make his first start in over a month. With the newly found competition for the Nigerian's spot, it could be likely to see him come out fighting.

Indeed, it will be much needed. Having started the Premier League season in fine form for the Hornets - hitting eight in the first half and assisting five more - he has failed to replicate that form following the turn of the New Year. A goal at Aston Villa is the only time the former Club Brugge-man has scored in 2022.

With Hernandez replacing him recently, it is therefore the perfect opportunity for Dennis to try and get back into some of his early season form and give Watford a fighting chance at survival.

Brentford

To pinpoint a player for Brentford is also a rather difficult choice - but for very different reasons to the home side. The Bees' fine form of late has been the result of numerous players: Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo to name but two.

But there has been no player to have been as of much importance as Christian Eriksen. In a remarkable move in January, Thomas Frank signed the Dane to the club after he was released by Serie A side Inter Milan. Since then, Eriksen has made the difference one would only expect from a player of his calibre. 

Having come on a substitute against Newcastle United in late February - just 259 days after suffering a cardiac arrest in the European Championships - Eriksen has since started every game, leading his new side to four victories in just five matches.

That has moved the Bees twelve points clear of the relegation zone, having been just three as March arrived.

With a goal and assist to his name already, he has eased back into Premier League life and has added a large breadth of creativity to the team. No doubt he will be looking to continue this at Vicarage Road.

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Previous meetings

December's encounter between these two at the Brentford Community Stadium marked the first time where Watford and Brentford had come face-to-face in a top flight match.

In that match, it was the away side Watford who scored. Emannuel Dennis headed his seventh of the season from a corner to put them in front within half an hour.

Despite an unconvincing performance from the Hornets, they looked set to hold out. But some poor defending - a regular occurrence within the side - saw Jansson head in on the 84th minute to equalise.

The Bees continued to pile on the pressure and were rewarded after William Troost-Ekong made a clumsy challenge in the penalty area on Sammon Ghoddos in the fifth minute of added time. Bryan Mbeumo fired home to give Brentford a victory and sink Watford.

The two also faced each other on the penultimate day of the Championship season last year. On a sunny day in West London with no fans, Brentford beat the already-promoted Hornets 2-0; a result which solidified the 3rd place finish which would eventually send them to the Premier League for the first time.

That result also meant that Watford could not share the title of the best ever Championship defence. They conceded 30 goals that season, rather than 28 which would have put them level-pecking with Sunderland's 1998/99 season. 

Their last encounter at Vicarage Road came in December 2020. With limited fans allowed inside the ground - the last time fans could get to football games in the 2020/21 campaign, however - the two played out a 1-1 draw. Two penalties from Troy Deeney and Ivan Toney, just three minutes apart, sealed the stalemate.

How to watch

Watford v Brentford is not live on British television on Saturday afternoon. The first opportunity to watch the game's highlights will be through SkySports, before Match of the Day assess the match on BBC One later that evening.

The game is one of three 3-o'clock kick-off's in the top flight; with Manchester United hosting Norwich City and Arsenal travelling to Southampton.

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