Although this is FA Cup Fourth Round weekend, there has been one Premier League match moved to Saturday evening and it is a massive one at the bottom of the table as Burnley play host to Watford in a season defining match for both teams.
These two teams are now the bottom two in the Premier League and you get the feeling that staying up will be extremely difficult for whichever team fails to win this match so this one is guaranteed to be competitive and hard fought.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on BT Sport 1 with the build-up to the contest beginning at 5.30pm. It is a weird 6pm kick off time at Turf Moor.
I guess you could say that Burnley go into this match in the better shape of the two sides even though they are bottom of the table. They have played as many as four matches fewer than Norwich, the team currently one above the drop zone, and are only four points behind them. That means that there won’t have been any panic in the winter break for Sean Dyche and his men but at the same time they will know the importance of this match.
Burnley have actually only lost eight of their 18 matches this season. The big problem they have got is they have only won one of them and you would think over the last 20 matches of the campaign they are going to need to put six more wins on that in order to stay up. When you put things into that sort of perspective then that makes this a huge game for the Clarets but they have been here before and will know what the pressures are all about.
Another new era begins for Watford in this match with Roy Hodgson taking the reins and managing the side for the first time. Changing managers is nothing new for Watford but whether it has the desired effect remains to be seen. The positive for the Hornets is that Hodgson has had a couple of weeks without a match so he will have had time to assess his squad and work out what he has and what he doesn’t have before a key run of games.
Watford also have games in hand of Norwich but you sense they are not going anywhere despite a relatively positive start to the season. The whole Claudio Ranieri reign was a mess from relatively start to finish and a rebuilding job might be needed but there isn’t time for that. Hodgson needs to hit the ground running. He isn’t stupid though. He is one of the best football brains out there and has all the experience in the world so he’ll fancy the job of leading the Vicarage Road outfit to safety.
OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH 888SPORT AND BET £10 TO GET £30 IN FREE BETS PLUS A £10 CASINO BONUS! PERFECT OFFER TO USE ON THE PREMIER LEAGUE! CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO JOIN. USE CODE 30F. NEW ACCOUNTS ONLY. 18+ T&Cs apply (See image for significant terms). Gamble Aware.
Burnley will be missing Josh Brownhill for this match as he is suspended but new signing Wout Wieghorst could make his debut for the Clarets. Maxwel Cornet is back from international duty and is in the squad.
Watford will be without the suspended Emmanuel Dennis which is a blow for such a big game. Roy Hodgson will also be without Ismaela Sarr for his first game in charge as he is at the Africa Cup of Nations but Adam Masina has returned from that tournament.
This was never going to be an easy match to bet on given the break the two sides have had and the players that are missing but the sacking of Claudio Ranieri makes it even tougher. I suspect Burnley are in the better shape of these two sides but I don’t think I could be backing a team who have only won once all season at what is a relatively skinny price when you factor that in and the importance of the contest.
I think the way in here is to expect a lack of goals. Watford are missing their most potent offensive weapons in Dennis and Sarr but even if they weren’t I would imagine that Roy Hodgson would have been working relentless since taking over on making his side harder to break down and defensively stronger. That tends to be the foundation he builds from so the Hornets might be missing a spark in attack. We know that Burnley are pretty tough to break down but at the same time they only have 16 goals in their 18 matches this term. I think 0-0 is a real runner here but the shade under even money on both teams to score not landing offers us the safety valve of a goal somewhere.
Back Both teams to score NO for a 3/10 stake at 1.95 with BetVictor
Back it here: