It’s been a difficult start to Sean Dyche’s managerial career since he took the reigns at Watford and it doesn’t look like getting any easier this weekend as his side come up against high-flying Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.
Unbeaten at home this season and currently occupying third spot, Tony Mowbray has moulded together a Boro side who look genuine contenders for a return to the Premier League and they head into this fixture as 3/5 favourites.
They were given a scare on Tuesday evening after falling behind to an early goal at bottom club Doncaster, but managed to turn fortunes in their favour as they ran out comfortable 3-1 victors to put them within one point of second-placed West Ham.
Their good form has in part been down to a solid defensive record, having managed to rack up eight clean sheets in 15 league matches this season, and odds of 31/20 for them to win to nil looks great value.
Mowbray’s players are likely to come out all guns blazing with the possibility of a spot in the automatic places within reach and it appears difficult to foresee anything other than a comfortable home win.
The Hornets will, however, be buoyed by a recent revival which has seen them pick up successive league wins, the latest a narrow 1-0 victory at home to faltering Brighton on Tuesday evening which put an end to a run of four straight defeats.
Priced at 19/4 to cause an upset, Dyche’s men have struggled away from Vicarage Road this campaign, having picked up just one win, and they have been beaten in their last three away fixtures, conceding nine goals in the process.
With Boro forward Marvin Emnes in sparkling form so far this term with ten league and cup goals to his name so far and nine of the last ten meetings between these sides producing at least two goals, this match is unlikely to be short of goalmouth action.
Odds of 7/25 for the game to involve over 1.5 goals look a banker considering Watford’s recent defensive frailties, while over 2.5 goals being scored at 91/100 certainly isn’t out of the question.
The one positive Dyche can take from Boro’s form at home this season is that, while unbeaten, they have drawn five of their seven matches at the Riverside, and a share of the spoils this weekend at 5/2 would be seen as a good point for the Hornets.
However, Mowbray’s players are likely to come out all guns blazing with the possibility of a spot in the automatic places within reach and it appears difficult to foresee anything other than a comfortable home win.
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