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Watford vs Everton – Match Preview

This weekend’s Premier League action begins at Vicarage Road as Watford play host to Everton on Saturday Lunchtime. Everton may have the higher league position but Watford have the slightly better form, that said neither side is hitting top form at present and a win would be most welcome for both Watford and Everton.

Watford have slipped out of the bottom half after successive defeats to both Bournemouth and West Brom. The Hornets currently find themselves in 11th and will hope to return to winning ways against an Everton side who have only one of their last 9 matches.

What will be a concern for Watford is the fact that Troy Deeney hasn’t found the net in his last 7 league matches. The Watford captain is still agonisingly on 99 goals for the club as the goal to complete the century continues to elude him. We all spoke at length about the partnership of Deeney and Odion Ighalo last season but they seems to be a distant memory now.

Deeney is struggling to find the net with the same regularity as last season while Ighalo has only got a solitary goal to his name during this campaign. With the Nigerian seemingly out of favour due to a small goal return it also makes you wonder if they should have accepted the £40m bid for him in the Summer from Shanghai SIPG. Then again hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Everton will no doubt still be glad that they turned down all bids for their talisman Romelu Lukaku but Ronald Koeman will also be concerned at the fact Everton’s slump in form has coincided with the Belgian international’s failure to score in the last four league matches. Not since they beat West Ham 2-0 at the end of October has Lukaku scored and he will look to end that drought this lunchtime.

Not only are the goals drying up but the supply line could also what with the news that Yannick Bolasie is set to be out for the rest of the season after suffering a cruciate ligament injury in the 1-1 draw last week with Manchester United. They had Marouane Fellaini to thank last Sunday after his clumsy tackle gave away a late spot kick which Leighton Baines subsequently slotted home to give The Toffees a share of the points.

But failure to win again has seen them leapfrogged by Tony Pulis’ West Brom side and that club best start to the season is now a long time ago and Everton have arguably not been the same side since they were steamrollered by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last month. That defeat was Ronald Koeman’s heaviest since taking charge of the club and he now has a job on his hands if he has to get his team hitting those early season heights.

That task could be made easier with a win today but Watford have only lost once at home since August and are making Vicarage Road something of a fortress. A lot will depend on whether Deeney and Lukaku can end their respective goal droughts whoever can get the edge here will make a big difference in the bearing of the result. I’m going to go for an Everton win as surely with only 1 win in 9 a positive result has to come soon…..doesn’t it? An away win for me.

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