Watford v Burnley
5/4/14 (kick-off 3pm)
Watford registered their first away victory under the management of Italian head coach Giuseppe Sannino when they beat Sheffield Wednesday 4-1 at Hillsborough last weekend. The Hornets will now be looking to continue their good home form as they remain in contention for a play-off spot. Watford currently sit 12th in the Championship table and are eight points behind sixth-placed Reading, but they have a game in hand over the Royals and with each of their next two fixtures, including this one, coming in front of their own supporters they will fancy their chances of a late push.
Meanwhile, Burnley remain in second position in league standings despite a rare defeat in last Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash with Championship leaders Leicester City. The Clarets find themselves nine points ahead of third-placed Queens Park Rangers and they will be looking to strengthen their grip on the automatic promotion spot as Sean Dyche’s team attempt to get back to winning ways against the manager’s former club.
Last Five Matches:
Watford Star Man: Troy Deeney
The 25-year-old striker has already equalled his career-best scoring tally of 19 league goals (20 in all competitions) and was nominated for the Sky Bet Player of the Month award for March.
The former Walsall marksman ended last month on six goals in six games, including braces against Blackpool and in last weekend’s demolition of Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
Deeney scored in this fixture last season and with his ability to find the back of the net from both close and long range, he could be Watford’s main dangerman.
Last Time Out:
Burnley 0-2 Leicester City
Burnley: Heaton – Baird, Duff, Shackell, Mee – Kightly (Treacy 79), Arfield, Jones, Stanislas (Wallace 62) – Barnes, Vokes (Edgar 8).
Subs not used: Cisak, Long, Lafferty, Stock.
Leicester: Schmeichel – De Laet, Wasilewski, Morgan, Schlupp – Knockaert, James, Drinkwater, Mahrez (Hammond 88) – Nugent (Taylor-Fletcher 72), Vardy (Wood 34).
Subs not used: Logan, Moore, King, Dyer.
Goals: Nugent 35, Wood 78.
Attendance: 16,794 (2,860)
Sheffield Wednesday 1-4 Watford
Wednesday: Kirkland – Buxton, Onyewu, Loovens, Mattock – Maguire (Nuhiu 64), Palmer, Lee, Helan (Lavery 74) – Afobe (Johnson 79), Best.
Subs not used: Martínez, Llera, Coke, Oshilaja.
Watford: Almunia – Doyley, Ekstrand, Angella – Anya (Faraoni 79), Battocchio, Tözsér, McGugan (Abdi 70), Pudil (Riera 62) – Ranegie, Deeney.
Subs not used: Bond, Hoban, Merkel, Murray.
Goals: Afobe 54 – Angella 5, McGugan 23, Deeney 49, 51
Last Meeting at Vicarage Road:
Watford 3-3 Burnley
Watford: Bond – Ekstrand, Hall, Briggs – Anya (Vydra 69), Battocchio, Chalobah, Abdi, Cassetti (Doyley 49) – Deeney (Geijo 90), Forestieri.
Subs not used: Bonham, Pudil, Hogg, Yeates.
Burnley: Grant – Trippier, Long, Shackell, Lafferty – Wallace (Vokes 79), Bartley (Stock 62), McCann, Kačaniklić (Paterson 80) – Ings, Austin.
Subs not used: Jensen, Duff, Mills, Stanislas.
Goals: Deeney 6, Forestieri 29, 72 – Austin 1, 24-pen, Vokes 90
Giuseppe Sannino welcomes back his compatriot Marco Cassetti who has recovered from a foot injury. However, fellow defender Lloyd Doyley is out with an ankle problem while strikers Fernando Forestieri and Chu-Young Park are also missing.
Meanwhile, Dean Marney will complete his two-match suspension with Kieran Trippier, Junior Stanislas (both hamstring), Danny Ings (ankle) and Sam Vokes (knee) all set to sit out the game with injuries for Burnley.
Stat of the Day:
Watford are just one of six current Championship teams who Burnley are yet to beat under the management of Sean Dyche (3 draws).
Sean Dyche: “I have very fond memories and I had a good time there. I was player, captain, youth coach, development coach, reserve team coach, assistant manager and manager. Of course, I had a real connection with the club.
“I’m pleased to say that the experience allowed me to come Burnley Football Club and build something here. It’s all part of the development as a young manager and they’re all things that you reflect on.
“However, this game is no different for me. I always divide my career into stages. I enjoyed my time and I moved forward. This is the way.”
Referee: Mr Stuart Attwell
This week’s Championship fixtures (kick-off 3pm unless stated):
Leicester v Sheff Wed 7:45
Wigan v Leeds 12:15
Barnsley v Brighton
Blackburn v Ipswich
Blackpool v Yeovil
Bournemouth v QPR
Charlton v Reading
Doncaster v Birmingham
Huddersfield v Bolton
Middlesbrough v Derby
Nottm Forest v Millwall