Home again as we search for that second win
When the season kicked off, I don’t think any of us thought we’d be going into tonight’s home game against Watford with only one victory to our name but the 3-1 home win against Brentford at the end of October remains the only occasion we’ve won three points in a game.
That inability to win games means we go into the game in the relegation places but, thankfully, knowing that a win tonight will lift us above Watford and out of the bottom three since the fifth weekend of the season.
We’ve lost just six times though. That’s the same number as Arsenal who are currently sixth in the table and less than half of the league have recorded less defeats than us. The big problem is the number of draws, eight of them in total. Three of the eight have ended 0-0 but of the other five we’ve been in front in four of them. Our record of losing points from winning positions this season has cost us.
Are we better than our current eighteenth place? I think so, but we are not really. League tables don’t tell lies and eleven points from fifteen games is clearly nowhere near good enough. Should we continue like that for the rest of the season we’d be going down with around 28 points.
There is no such thing as a must win game at this time of the season but there is absolutely no doubt that a win would be massive for us tonight, both in terms of getting the points and getting them against the team directly above us.
“We have put in some good performances this year and come away with some good results, but at the end of the day, it’s all about winning games and we haven’t done that enough this season and there’s no hiding behind that.”
It was a surprise to see Brownhill left out for that last game and whether he comes back or not is probably the only real question to be asked. I’m not expecting Maxwel Cornet to be involved nor Connor Roberts who is thankfully improving having been hospitalised with a virus.
The one edition to the squad tonight could be Dale Stephens who has come though a period of isolation. I think we could line up: Nick Pope, Matt Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Charlie Taylor, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, Ashley Westwood, Jack Cork, Dwight McNeil, Jay Rodriguez, Chris Wood. Subs from: Wayne Hennessey, Phil Bardsley, Nathan Collins, Kevin Long, Bobby Thomas, Erik Pieters, Josh Brownhill, Dale Stephens, Aaron Lennon, Matěj Vydra.
Watford bounced back into the Premier League at the first time of asking last season but some things haven’t changed at Vicarage Road and they soon dispensed with the services of Xisco Munoz and replaced him with Claudio Ranieri who has now been in charge since early October.
Ranieri got off to a remarkable start with a 5-2 win at Everton after they’d trailed 2-1 with twelve minutes to go. Their only victory since came against Manchester United. They won 4-1 and that triggered United to do a Watford and removed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
They are without a point in four games since but, in fairness, the two home defeats have been against Chelsea and Manchester City. The defeats have been at Leicester and Brentford. The Brentford defeat last Friday was a difficult one for them to take with them leading 1-0 with six minutes to go and Brentford’s winner coming in the fifth minute of stoppage time from the penalty spot.
The Watford team at Brentford was: Daniel Bachmann, Kiko Femenía, William Troos-Ekong, Craig Cathcart, Jeremy Ngakia, Juraj Kucka, Moussa Sissoko, Cucho Hernández, Tom Cleverley, Josh King, Emmanuel Dennis. Subs: Danny Rose, Imrân Louza, João Pedro, Ken Sema, Ashley Fletcher, Ozan Tufan, Christian Kabasele, Rob Elliot, Vincent Angelini.
LAST TIME THEY WERE HERE
It was a first, the last time Watford were at Burnley. It was a first in that it was the first time we had played a home game in front of empty stands as Project Restart arrived at Turf Moor.
Beaten 5-0 at Manchester City three days earlier, we were eleventh in the Premier League and that’s where we stayed after this 1-0 win courtesy of a Jay Rodriguez goal.
Matěj Vydra hit the post and Jay Rodriguez had a shot cleared off the line in a first half we dominated but we seemed to lose our way a little after the break. That was until Jay Rod got in front of a defender and stooped to head home a Dwight McNeil cross.
The teams were;
Burnley: Nick Pope, Matt Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Charlie Taylor, Josh Brownhill, Ashley Westwood, Jack Cork, Dwight McNeil, Jay Rodriguez (Erik Pieters 81), Matěj Vydra. Subs not used: Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Lukas Jensen, Phil Bardsley, Kevin Long, Jimmy Dunne, Bobby Thomas, Mace Goodridge, Max Thompson.
Watford: Ben Foster, Kiko Femenía, Craig Dawson, Christian Kabasele (Craig Cathcart ht), Adam Masina, Ismaíla Sarr, Étienne Capouè, Will Hughes (Nathaniel Chalobah 83), Tom Cleverley (Abdoulaye Doucouré ht), Danny Welbeck, Troy Deeney (Andre Gray 85). Subs not used: Heurelho Gomes, Adrian Mariappa, João Pedro, Ignacio Pussetto, Roberto Pereyra.Follow UpTheClarets:
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