Watford welcome Norwich City to Vicarage Road in Saturday Night Football in 2022-23 Sky Bet Championship.
Victory could see Watford climb into the top half of the table depending on results elsewhere, whereas a win could see Norwich go top if Sheffield United and QPR fail to win elsewhere in earlier kick-offs.
Joao Pedro is set to return for Watford after missing their last three matches due to a calf injury.
Craig Cathcart (thigh) and Mario Gaspar (groin) could be available for selection but
Christian Kabasele (hamstring), Francisco Sierralta (unspecified), Jeremy Ngakia, Rey Manaj (both hamstring), Kortney Hause (knee) and Tom Cleverley (Achilles) remain ruled out.
Norwich could welcome Todd Cantwell back from a quad injury which has kept him out of their last three matches.
Sam Byram (hip) is a doubt but Jacob Sorensen, Dimitris Gianoullis (both ankle), Isaac Hayden, Adam Idah (both knee) and Sam McCallum (foot) remain absent.
- Watford have lost two of their last eight league meetings against Norwich (W6, L2).
- Norwich have won two of their last five trips to Watford (W2, L3), with both wins coming in 3-0 results in February 2015 and January 2022 respectively.
- Each of the last two second-tier meetings between Watford and Norwich ended in 1-0 results, with the Hornets winning both meetings in 2020-21 Sky Bet Championship.
- Watford have kept just two clean sheets at home this season, of which they won on both occasions by 1-0 result against Sheffield United and Burnley in August 2022.
- Four of Norwich’s last five away goals have been scored after half-time, except for Teemu Pukki’s 21st minute winner at Blackpool earlier in October.
Following consecutive defeats against Swansea and Blackpool, Watford’s honeymoon period under Slaven Bilic certainly is over because he now needs to quickly shore up their leaky defence although they were badly hindered by some defensive injuries at Blackpool which is still no excuse for defeat.
Norwich meanwhile were simply caught out mentally by a stubborn Preston team last week who were just clinical on the counter-attack, as they punished poor focus and sloppy passes from the Canaries so Norwich now just need to reset and try to play neater football here.
Now if they do that and can adopt an aggressive attack against Watford’s sloppy defence, I can see them claiming a solid win but Watford should have Pedro back who hopefully will reignite their attack so this could well be a tougher battle than some might expect.
I though am plumping for a score draw if Watford can sort out their defensive issues and frustrate Norwich, who certainly should look to score here given their goal-scoring form.
Prediction: Watford 1-1 Norwich