Burnley welcome Watford to Turf Moor in a rearranged relegation six-pointer clash in the Premier League.
Victory would see Burnley stay in the relegation zone but climb to 18th and move to within a point of safety, whereas Watford will climb out of the bottom three with a win and sit 17th.
Ashley Barnes could be in contention to start for Burnley after recovering from a thigh injury, although he will need to improve his match fitness.
Maxwel Cornet could also feature after returning early from international duty following Ivory Coast’s exit from the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations.
Wout Weghorst could be in line for his Clarets debut after signing from Wolfsburg on Deadline Day.
Charlie Taylor (ankle) is a doubt but Johann Berg Gudmundsson (illness), Josh Brownhill (suspension) and Matej Vydra (hernia) are ruled out.
Watford will be without Emmanuel Dennis after he was red carded in their loss to Norwich a fortnight ago.
Peter Etebo (quad), Kwadwo Baah (ankle), Nicolas N’Koulou (hamstring) and Ismaila Sarr (international duty) remain absent.
Imran Louza, Adam Masina and William Troost-Ekong are all available after returning from international duty at 2022 Africa Cup of Nations.
Ben Foster and Craig Cathcart could also be in contention after recovering from positive cases of Coronavirus.
- Burnley have lost just one of their last six meetings against Watford (W4, D1, L1).
- Watford have won just one of four previous Premier League visits to Turf Moor (W1, L3), whilst failing to keep a clean sheet in those four games.
- Each of Burnley’s last three goals against Watford have been scored by English players (Ashley Barnes, James Tarkowski and Jay Rodriguez).
- Coming into this league match, no team has played less backpasses than Burnley after the Clarets only made 943 passes in 18 league matches
- All 23 of Watford’s league goals this season have been scored from inside the box.
Burnley can take heart from their display at Arsenal because despite getting outclassed with just one shot on target, those players were genuinely playing for their manager – Sean Dyche with defensive discipline and excellent attacking which terrorised Aaron Ramsdale throughout in a goalless draw.
Watford come here under new management as Roy Hodgson takes charge but shoring up this leaky defence won’t be easy for the veteran, even despite a fortnight of preparation because there are many individual areas from marking to discipline to fix on top of intensity in attack.
In fact those latter points were on shambolic show in their loss to Norwich because the marking was simply awful whilst a lethargic attack led to disciplinary issues, which was evident in their desperate defending at times so this is a huge ask.
This match though is a relegation six-pointer so I am expecting both teams to come here fighting but if Burnley can be more clinical and build on their effort at Arsenal, I fancy them to get a crucial win but Watford will have a new manager bounce to feed off mentally.
Prediction: Burnley 1-0 Watford
Result: Burnley 0-0 Watford