If you take a look over the season that these two teams have had, it’s actually pretty fascinating. That’s because they’ve essentially had a complete reversal of fortunes. Watford started off the season strong, with four wins in a row before the wheels began to come off. Meanwhile, West Ham took forever to get off the ground but have finally started turning things around, and currently sit at – believe it or not – four victories in a row.
Now they’ve ended up at the same place from different directions at 24 points apiece. This strange and generally overlooked story from this Premier League season comes to a head on Saturday.
West Ham United vs Watford Prediction: West Ham 2-1 Watford
In terms of who has come out looking better performance wise, we have to give the slightest of nods to West Ham United for just being a touch more dangerous on the ball. When you add in the fact that most of their best results have been recent – giving them a sense of confidence and momentum – they come out as slight favourites.
In terms of the final score, both these teams tend to end up with high scoring results but we don’t think there will be too much of a goal difference. Therefore, we’re going to go with a predicted scoreline of 2-1 to West Ham.
Our recommended tip: West Ham win
As we mentioned in our predicted scoreline, this contest should be a close one. West Ham do come into this contest with the slightest of advantages though, just edging ahead of their opponents with a 41% win probability to Watford’s 31%. The bookmakers’ odds reflect this, with an away side win presenting a slightly higher risk wager. At Ladbrokes, punters will find match odds of 2/1 for Watford compared to 13/10 for West Ham, and with many expecting to see the home side snatch victory here, the latter is our recommended tip for today.
While they might be neck-and-neck right now, history tells us another story, with West Ham United winning over double the matches in their fixtures compared to Watford. Of course, many of these are just points of historical interest, as we doubt the impact of their 1898 Southern League Second Division draw for instance. However, this does show how things have changed.
The modern results are about what you’d expect though, being pretty much neck-and-neck all the way back to 2008, as they trade wins, losses and draws evenly. For example, in 2018, West Ham won 2-0: the year before, Watford got the same result in their favour. And when we look at the games within the last ten years, each have won three games apiece, drawing twice. It really is uncanny how evenly-matched these two have been.
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Players to watch: Chicharito & Roberto Pereyra
West Ham United: Chicharito
With injuries plaguing West Ham, they need someone who can step up and fill in the shoes of some very high-quality players. Since Chicharito returned from a five-week layoff for illness, he’s been doing exactly that. He last scored against Crystal Palace and has added a lot of depth to their striking game. We have little doubt that – just as he was against Burnley, Newcastle and Crystal Palace – Chicharito could be a major factor against Watford.
Watford: Roberto Pereyra
The man who opened their season with two goals and a win over Brighton has been quieter than we’re used to, at least in term of hitting the back of the net. Indeed, it was strange not seeing Pereyra among the three goalscorers in their victory over Cardiff. It’s not that he hasn’t had his chances. He came close on a few occasions and, considering he hasn’t scored since Huddersfield, we know he’ll be aching to make a difference in this one.