There’s a very interesting dynamic here. Looking at the standings alone, you might assume Bournemouth would be surefire favourites. But a resilient – if long suffering – Watford side have shown enough to suggest they might not be the pushover their lowly position would suggest.
In fact, they may come into this contest with a sense of vengeance considering how desperately close they came to walking away with their first victory of the season after being denied by VAR in an impressive clash against Tottenham. Even considering Spurs’ struggles as of late, this should be enough to put Bournemouth on notice. That this came after another effort full of promise against Sheffield United is further evidence that elusive first win may be within sight.
However, Bournemouth aren’t going to offer themselves up as martyrs in that regard. They too have suffered a disappointing few games, drawing with West Ham and Norwich, and losing to Arsenal. No doubt they will be looking at Watford less as plucky underdogs, and more an opportunity to start climbing those standings.
Watford vs AFC Bournemouth Prediction: Watford 1-1 Bournemouth
Watford are tough to beat while Bournemouth have struggled to get the job done in recent games. However, the Cherries still have plenty to be proud of in terms of performance. They looked unlucky to lose against Arsenal, even more so to not get the win against West Ham. If we had to pick a winner, we would go with them. However, there is a third option. Watford have proven themselves excellent at grinding a game down to a draw and we think that is exactly what we’ll see here. With that in mind, our scoreline prediction is 1-1 apiece.
Our recommended tip: Both teams score
While we’ve explained why we couldn’t pick a winner here – or rather why we think it’s unlikely one will emerge victorious – perhaps you’re wondering why we didn’t simply go to a goalless stalemate. After all, that is exactly how Bournemouth’s last match ended. However, that is the only clean sheet the Cherries have had all season. The same can be said of Watford’s match against Sheffield United. This means it’s very likely these teams will both concede a goal based on past performances. Therefore, our recommended tip is for both teams to score. You’ll find low-risk 29/50 odds from MarathonBet on this result.
In over 100 matches, barely a victory separates these two sides. Watford have the advantage by two wins to be exact, but failed to win the last three encounters. Their battle in January was an action-packed 3-3 draw. Meanwhile, their 2018 match before that saw Bournemouth get the last decisive win with a dominating 4-0 performance. Earlier that year, they drew yet again in a 2-2 clash. 2017 did see Watford get a win of their own in a 2-0 match, while the four encounters before that ended in a draw. Very little has separated these two in close to a century of battles.
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Players to watch: Roberto Pereyra & Adam Smith
No matter how many compliments we can give to elements of their performances or how fervently we analyse the ins-and-outs of Watford’s struggles to get the job done, ultimately, it comes down to one thing. They have been unable to score when the opportunity has presented itself often enough. However, one player who is doing everything possible to change this is Roberto Pereyra. We last saw him score against Arsenal and he’s proven himself as a specialist in turning games around late on.
Although the Cherries’ performance against Norwich City wasn’t their best, there was one big ray of sunshine amongst the missed opportunities, thanks to the return of Adam Smith. He came back from injury in his first appearance since last August and did not disappoint. He has more touches than any teammate, made more passes and was brilliant in every role he thrust himself into.