Burnley v Watford Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
August 17, 2018
Turf Moor – Premier League
Burnley look to follow-up their progression in the Europa League with three domestic points on Sunday, as they host Watford in the Premier League. The Hornets impressed in their opening day win against Brighton, but have lost their last seven league games under Javi Gracia.
Burnley did the double over Watford last season, with the most recent fixture playing out to a 2-1 Clarets victory at Vicarage Road, thanks to goals from Jack Cork and Sam Vokes.
Both Tom Heaton and Nick Pope remain sidelined for Burnley, meaning yet another start for Joe Hart in goal, with the former England number one yet to concede for Sean Dyche's side. Following rotations for the Europa League mid-week tie, Jack Cork, James Tarkowski and Chris Wood are all likely to step back into the side, with Johann Berg Gudmundsson starting on the left and Matthew Lowton at right-back.
It would be a surprise if Javi Gracia makes many changes to last week's impressive starting XI, with Nathaniel Chalobah, Gerard Deulofeu, Tom Cleverly and Stefano Okaka still unavailable. This should see Andre Gray partnering Troy Deeney in front of a four man midfield.
Burnley v Watford Preview and Predictions
Following a disappointing draw to open their season, Burnley reaffirmed their credentials with an extra-time winner against Basaksehir on Thursday. Although a relatively unknown opposition, the Istanbul based club finished third in the Turkish league, and achieving a result having made six changes shows that the Clarets should be able to cope with extra games this season.
Their opponents on Sunday are also on a high, as Watford exceeded all expectations in dismantling Brighton last Saturday. With one game gone, the Hornets sit above Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal in the league, and will hope that they can maintain their early season form.
What was particularly interesting about Javi Garcia's opening day win was the managers take on the traditional 4-4-2 formation. With Deulofeu a way off full fitness, and Ken Sema yet to establish himself, Watford have an absence of natural wingers, so rather than forcing players out of position, the coach set his players out in a 4-2-2-2 with a midfield comprising of two defensive and two central attacking midfielders, with the full-backs providing the width. Clearly, this shift paid off for the Hornets as Jose Holebas and Roberto Pereyra combined for the Argentian's two sublime goals.
Sean Dyche will certainly have noted Watford's threat down the left, but Gracia's lack of width could well spell danger against the Clarets. With a 4-4-4 formation of their own, Burnley's wingers could drag the likes of Pereyra and Will Hughes out of their preferred position, forcing them into more traditional wide midfield roles. Doing so would greatly affect their efficiency going forwards, whilst remaining in position would leave their full-backs exposed.
Sunday looks to be an intriguing challenge for both sides, as Burnley rarely concede at home, and Watford haven't won in 10 games at Turf Moore. Even so, with the Hornet's high on confidence and the Clarets potentially fatigued following Thursday's action, we could be in for an unusual results.
Under 2.5 goals at 1/2
Burnley have kept a clean sheet in their last three games and won't plan on letting many in against Watford.
Chris Wood to score first at 3/1
Having started on the bench on Thursday Wood will be the fresher of Burnley's front two.