Perfect Preview – Watford vs. Aston Villa – No Excuses: A Genuine Must Win

After an alarming defeat to Southampton (1-3), Villa secured an important first win in five against Norwich (1-0) on Boxing Day.

Next up is an equally massive away day at Vicarage Road to face a Watford side looking to benefit from their new manager bounce following the recent appointment of Nigel Pearson.

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Whilst a timely victory over Norwich, there was little to diguise that we are struggling for individual and collective form.  Villa were abject against Saints and arguably not much better against a Norwich team that found Tom Heaton in top form.

Defeating Watford, a relegation rival, is vitally important if we are to claw our way out of the drop-zone.  A draw helps nobody.  Lose, and we will find ourselves pondering where exactly the required wins will come from.

The Hornets won’t be the pushovers that we might’ve hoped to have faced as they appear to be attempting an in-season transformation.

Typically ahead of our arrival, they have hauled themselves off the foot of the division with a win and a draw in their last two games.  Concerningly they secured their win against Manchester United and a point against the more than capable Sheffield United.

Make no mistake, this is a genuine six-pointer, one that we mustn’t under-estimate nor play down.  The Premier League requires a ruthless single-mindedness towards winning football games and Watford must be overcome by any means necessary.

KEY FACTS

  • Five points seperate the two sides in 18th & 19th positions.
  • League Position: Aston Villa – 18th
  • League Position: Watford – 19th
  • Troy Deeney scored late goals against Villa in 2015/16
  • Our win over Norwich was just our 2nd in 10 games.
  • Villa top scorer: Grealish (5)
  • Watford top scorer: Deulofeu (3)
  • Deulofeu has created 29 chances for Watford this term.
  • Jack Grealish has 5 assists to his name this season.
  • Davis, Mings and McGinn are all out injured for Villa.
  • Cleverley, Prodl, Janmaat and Wellbeck won’t feature for Watford.
  • Neither side have any suspensions.
  • Villa have picked up just 4 points from 27 away from Villa Park.
  • Watford have won just just once in 13 home games.
  • Wesley hasn’t scored in 11 appearances, with no attempts at all in 4.
  • Watford Predicted Team: Foster; Mariappa, Kabasele, Cathcart, Femenia, Capoue, Hughes, Sarr, Doucoure, Deulofeu, Deeney.
  • Villa Predicted Team: Heaton, Elmohamady, Konsa, Hause, Targett, Nakamba, Luiz; Ghazi, Grealish, Trezeguet, Wesley.
  • Kick Off: 3pm / 15:00pm GMT
  • Sources: Guardian | Squawka | BBC |

PREDICTION

Watford 0-1 Aston Villa

Goalscorer Prediction: Grealish

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