Watford head to Huddersfield Town on Saturday for the kind of fixture which will have the neutrals desperately trying to keep their eyes open during Match of the Day. But for the Hornets recent games against the Terriers have always had something significant about them.
In December David Wagner’s side came to Vicarage Road and picked up their first away win since the opening day of the season with a 4-1 triumph, the nadir of Marco Silva’s regime.
The last meeting between the sides before that, in January 2015, ended in a 3-1 Huddersfield win with the then-Watford head coach Slaviša Jokanović lamenting afterwards, “I am not working with stars and if one of my boys thinks they are a star then they are wrong.”
In August 2014 ten-man Watford came from behind to beat Town 4-2 at Vicarage Road to go second in the Championship. Head coach Beppe Sannino resigned the following day before he was pushed. At the end of the previous season the Italian had seen his side meekly roll over, allowing Huddersfield to win 4-1, a result which, at the time, looked to have sealed his fate.
Even as far back as the 2012/13 campaign Watford’s trip to the John Smith’s Stadium proved significant. On that occasion Troy Deeney scored his first goal since a summer spent at her Majesty’s pleasure, dispatching an 87th-minute penalty to seal a 3-2 comeback win.
For the Hornets, beaten by two soft Burnley goals last Saturday, a rather more routine result would do. Huddersfield, meanwhile, have Everton (home), Manchester City (away), Chelsea (away) and Arsenal (home) to come. If they do not beat Watford the prospect of relegation will be very real.
Hornets coach Javi Gracia still has a lengthy injury list to contend with. Nathaniel Chalobah (fractured kneecap), Gerard Deulofeu (fractured foot), Younès Kaboul (fractured metatarsal) and Tommie Hoban (ACL) are all out. Tom Cleverley (hamstring) and Christian Kabasele (hamstring) are closer to fitness but still sidelined.
Our unique algorithm has predicted the Watford side it believes will start the game.
Football Whispers uses data to predict teams’ starting XIs, taking into account injuries, suspensions, the statistical likelihood of a player being selected, the competition the match is in, players’ previous performances and the opponent’s style.
And you can also give it a go yourself. Just click ‘create your own’ on the line-up at the top of the page and pick your ideal XI for the game.You can also see each player’s stats once you’ve selected them.
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