Football expert Ryan Elliott has two tips for Watford's crucial clash with Southampton.
Watford and Nigel Pearson will be desperately disappointed that they succumbed to a defeat at Burnley on Thursday.
It was a huge opportunity to put genuine daylight between themselves and the relegation zone, and with games starting to run out, that is the sort of result which ensures they’ll remain firmly in this relegation battle until the bitter end.
As for Southampton, they will also be disappointed not to have earned even a point against Arsenal, with goalkeeper Alex McCarthy doing everything in his power to prevent his side from emerging with anything, but Ralph Hasenhuttl will know that one more victory will move his side to 40 points, and surely absolute safety.
I felt pretty confident that Watford would beat Burnley on Thursday, but their performance was a really worrying one, and suddenly their survival credentials don’t quite look so clever; I still believe they’ll stay up virtue of a much kinder run-in than Bournemouth and Aston Villa.
In terms of value, I think 17/20 for under 2.5 goals is generous.
Both of Watford’s matches post-restart have seen under 2.5 goals, and over the course of the season 55% of their games have ended with two goals or fewer.
The stakes are unbelievably high for The Hornets, and like in their matches versus Leicester and Burnley, they’ll prioritise solidity – particularly with the ever-present threat of Danny Ings on the opposite side.
Four of the previous six meetings between these two have seen under 2.5 goals, and I believe that’ll be the case this time around as well.
Furthermore, at a pretty big price, I’m also tentatively backing a draw.
We’ve seen draws in three of the last five meetings between the two sides, and while Watford are generally quite solid, they’ve only scored 28 times this season – only Norwich have fewer, so whatever happens this one will be very tight.
Watford are slight favourites, but I honestly don’t see much at all separating these two, so as a value play, backing a draw looks the way to go.