Watford v Everton
Saturday, Feb 24 – 17:30
Watford failed to build on their 4-1 victory over Chelsea, when they lost 2-0 to West Ham a fortnight ago. Manager Javi Gracia criticised his side’s lack of aggression in the match, as well as urging the club’s fans to get behind the team, and recreate the same buzz around Vicarage Road that led them to victory over Chelsea. Goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes is expected to return for the Hornets today, with Will Hughes, Miguel Britos, and Kiko Femenia all in contention for a place in Javi Gracia’s starting XI. Watford currently sit 11th in the Premier League table – four points behind Everton.
Everton rebounded from their 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Arsenal, by claiming a comfortable 3-1 win over Crystal Palace in their last league match. The Toffees recently returned from warm weather training in Dubai, and manager Sam Allardyce has claimed that his players have no excuses not to perform between now and the end of the season. Leighton Baines could return to Allardyce’s starting XI today, however, both Seamus Coleman and Eliaqim Mangala will be sidelined with injury. Everton start the day ninth on the leaderboard, with 34 points from their 27 games this season.
Let’s take a look at the stats:
- Today’s match will mark the 10th meeting between these two clubs in the Premier League – Watford have only managed to win one of those games.
- In fact, the Toffees have only lost twice in 24 competitive matches against Watford (W19 D3).
- These two clubs have now had 12 different managers between them over their 10 Premier League matches – Everton: Allardyce, Unsworth, Koeman, Martinez, Moyes, Smith. Watford: Gracia, Silva, Mazzarri, Sanchez Flores, Boothroyd, Taylor.
- Everton have only managed to win one of their last 21 away matches in the Premier League (D9 L11) – losing each of the last three.
- Sam Allardyce’s side have conceded 4+ goals in each of their last two away games in the Premier League.
- Having won 4-1 against Chelsea in their last home game, Watford will be looking for back-to-back league victories at Vicarage Road for the first time since April 2017.
- Oumar Niasse has found the back of the net seven times in the Premier League this season, with his goals accounting for seven of Everton’s points. Romelu Lukaku’s 24 goals last season helped the Toffees collect nine points.
- Watford have lost four games from winning positions in the Premier League this season – more than any other club in the competition.
- Everton came back from 2-0 down to beat Watford in the reverse fixture – they have only achieved this feat three times in the Premier League.
- The Toffees have collected more points from losing positions that any other club in the Premier League this season (13).
Watford were disappointing in their last league match, but back on home soil you always expect more from them. The Hornets have caused some major upsets at Vicarage Road this season, and this looks set to be a very tight game indeed. Everton have conceded nine goals in their last two matches on the road, and Sam Allardyce will be hoping that his defenders can put that right today. Hard to predict a result, but we’re expecting goals in this one. Both teams to score.