Watford v Bournemouth - Saturday 15:00
Watford followed up their superb victories over West Ham and Man Utd with a thoroughly disappointing loss to Burnley last week. Walter Mazzarri has made a decent start to his tenure overall, but Watford have conceded at least two goals in nine of their last 11 matches and so the return of Younes Kaboul at the back will be welcomed, though Daryl Janmaat remains out injured.
Bournemouth were excellent against Everton in what was their best performance of the season, controlling the game with a tight midfield three of Andrew Surman, Jack Wilshere and man of the match Harry Arter. Eddie Howe will see no reason to change the balance of his side, with Jordan Ibe and Junior Stanislas providing pace out wide. The challenge for the Cherries is to raise their game to this standard more consistently and so Wilshere lasting 76 minutes against Everton will have been a welcome sight.
Speaking after the loss to Bournemouth, Ronald Koeman said “you can’t win if you play like we did in the first half. We lost every second ball, we lost every battle.” The comments were reminiscent of those made by Troy Deeney about being “bullied to a man” after Watford’s own defeat to Burnley, and the Cherries seem to be battling their way into form, picking up seven points from their last four matches. However, with combative players like Deeney and Capoue, this shouldn’t be a recurring theme for the Hornets. With both sides relatively evenly matched in what looks a tough game to call, we’re backing the draw at 3.4.