Watford and Bournemouth have both enjoyed fine starts to the Premier League this season and even at this early stage, they will be harbouring hopes that this could be a memorable campaign. Javi Gracia’s men look like a very strong, powerful outfit, with the manager adopting a narrow 4-4-2 formation that is getting the most out of all his players, particularly the front two.
Yet, they will be up against a Cherries side that have been equally impressive this season, with both sides locked on 13 points after seven games. Eddie Howe’s men play in a different style to the Hornets but they have been equally effective. Bournemouth try and keep the ball, play on the front foot and have real pace up top which ensures they are a major threat in behind and on the break. This clash in styles, with Watford more direct and strong, makes this an extremely fascinating clash at Vicarage Road.
Watford vs Bournemouth Prediction: Watford 1-1 Bournemouth
Given that, we expect a very close game between two good sides. Watford have been very strong at home and look as though they have real quality in the side and the Cherries aren’t as strong on the road. However, they appear to have got the awful defeat at Burnley out their system with a victory on Monday night and head to Vicarage Road expecting to come away with something. Therefore, we can’t see much between the sides and think the points will be shared.
Our recommended tip: BTTS
Both teams to score has landed in Watford’s last three home games, with Gracia’s men scoring seven goals from their four fixtures on their own patch. That’s a very good return and the side have many different weapons going forward. Troy Deeney and Andre Gray are extremely tough to deal with whilst the Hornets are also strong from set-plays. That, combined with the Cherries open style means that the hosts should score, whilst Howe’s men have enough about them to score as well, as they’ve shown all season.
This will be the 114th meeting between the sides and it’s been very close on the whole, with Watford winning 40 times, compared to the Cherries 37. The two sides have been very hard to separate in the Premier League era, with five of their last six games drawn, with Watford picking up one win which came at the Vitality Stadium last season.
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Players to watch: Troy Deeney & Callum Wilson
Watford captain Deeney is the Hornets talisman and plays an important role for Gracia’s men. The hosts often go direct at times and Deeney is the man that brings everything together, with his ability to play with his back to goal and strength in bullying defenders. He will fancy his chances against a Bournemouth side that have struggled defensively over the years and the former Walsall man will think his qualities can cause them serious trouble.
As they are away from home, Bournemouth could play on the counter and Wilson’s pace is crucial to that. He has good movement, scores goals and his style is pivotal to the way that Howe’s men play. Wilson is unfortunate not to have made the England squad which highlights how good he has been this season. As well as scoring goals, the former Coventry man is improving his all-round game and he has contributed three assists already.