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Match Previews

Match Preview: Watford vs Brentford

It's The Hornets vs The Bees on Easter Saturday

15 April 2022

We've got a short Bank Holiday trip round the M25 ahead of us tomorrow, Watford our next opponents in the Premier League. The Hornets come into the game on the back of defeat to Leeds United while a victory for Thomas Frank's Bees will see us make it a hat-trick of top flight wins this month. Get all the build-up to tomorrow's big game below. 

THE OPPOSITION

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The games are beginning to run out for Watford as they seek to avoid an immediate return to the second tier. 

Last Saturday's 3-0 loss at home to Leeds United, Watford's ninth successive defeat at Vicarage Road, leaves The Hornets six points from safety with just seven games to play. If Roy Hodgson is to pull off a remarkable escape then Watford's four remaining home games, starting with our visit tomorrow will be crucial. The Hornets have Burnley, Everton, and Leicester City to welcome to WD18 before the end of the season as well as trips to Manchester City, Crystal Palace, and Arsenal.

Watford have now conceded 60 goals in the top flight this campaign, only Leeds (68) and Norwich City (63) have conceded more, and they have only kept three clean sheets, the fewest of any team in the division. Watford's last nine home defeats have seen them concede 25 goals, taking their overall tally to a league-high 37 goals against at home. 

Seven players have found the net for Watford in the Premier League this season, the lowest distribution of goals in the top flight. Emmanuel Dennis (9) (pictured above) leads their scoring charts with Cucho Hernandez, Josh King, Ismaila Sarr (all five), Joao Pedro, Moussa Sissoko (both two), and Juraj Kucka (one) the others on target. 

THE GAMEPLAN

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Watford Observer's Ryan Gray told Hot Off The Press"I don’t expect he will change from the 4-3-3 he has used in recent weeks. It remains to be seen who will play up front; he had been starting Cucho Hernandez, but he went off early on with an injury on Saturday and I’m not sure if he will be back at this stage. Joao Pedro could come in in his place, if not Emmanuel Dennis or Josh King. Hodgson does have options up front, but the problem has been creating chances. There will be a midfield three, with Imran Louza playing as a deep-lying midfielder behind Moussa Sissoko (above) and Juraj Kucka, and then a flat back four."

TEAM NEWS

Frank Onyeka (ankle) remains out but Josh Dasilva will be involved following his hamstring injury. Pontus Jansson has also recovered from the illness which kept him out last weekend. 

The news is less positive for Watford. Cucho Hernandez (hamstring) is set for an extended spell on the sidelines while Samuel Kalu (ankle), William Troost-Ekong (hamstring) and Francisco Sierralta (calf) will also miss out tomorrow.

MATCH FACTS

  • Bryan Mbeumo has provided an assist in each of his last three Premier League appearances for Brentford (four in total). The only player in Premier League history who has assisted in four consecutive Premier League appearances for a promoted side is Chris Waddle in March/April 1997 for Sunderland.
  • After picking up just four points in an 11-match run between December and February (W1 D1 L9), Brentford have won four of their last five Premier League matches (L1). They are now looking to win three in a row in the top flight for the first time since September 1946.
  • Roy Hodgson is aiming for his first home points as Watford manager after four defeats in a row. The last manager to lose his first five home matches in charge at a club was Chris Ramsey with Queens Park Rangers in 2015.
  • Brentford's Ivan Toney has been involved in 10 goals in his last eight Premier League appearances (eight goals, two assists). Only Spurs duo Harry Kane (15) and Son Heung-min (13) have been involved in more goals in 2022 so far.

THE MANAGER

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Roy Hodgson CBE is closing in on six decades in the professional game, having started out as a junior at Crystal Palace in the mid-1960s. Hodgson was unable to break through at Palace and dropped into the non-league before beginning his coaching career with Swedish side Halmstads BK in 1976, aged 29. 

Success has followed Hodgson wherever he has been. He won two Allsvenskan titles with Halmstads, a side who narrowly avoided relegation the season before he took over, and a Division 2 Norra title with Örebro SK before a hugely successful spell with Malmö FF in the late 1980s. He won the Allsvenskan every year between 1985 and 1989 as well as two Swedish Cups and two Swedish Champions Play-Offs. 

He then won a Swiss Super Cup with Neuchâtel Xamax, was the UEFA Cup Runner-Up with Inter Milan, and did a League and Super Cup double with Copenhagen in 2001. 

At international level, he guided Switzerland to the last 16 of the 1994 World Cup and qualification for Euro 1996; prior to that Switzerland had not qualified for a major tournament since the 1960s. From 2006 to 2007, he managed the Finland national team, guiding them to their highest-ever FIFA ranking of 33rd place, coming close to qualifying for a major tournament for the first time in their history. He also managed the England national team from May 2012 to June 2016.

In the Premier League, he has taken charge of Blackburn Rovers, Fulham, where he reached the UEFA Cup Final in 2010, Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace, and now Watford.

THE OPPOSITION VIEW

Roy Hodgson told watfordfc.com: “You’ve got to be compact as a team because [Christian] Eriksen’s got a load of ability. When he gets time on the ball and a chance to lift his head, if there are spaces the defence have left open, Christian is a player who can see and deliver the pass that is necessary. It’s going to be very important, our strength in defending as a unit, to deny time and space, and hopefully stop Eriksen getting too much of the ball.

“It would be unfair on Brentford [to call him the only threat], because they’re playing very well and are a very strong team unit. He’s made them stronger but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that if we nullify his actions, the others won’t be able to step up and do a good job themselves.”

LAST TIME OUT

THE OFFICIALS

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Referee: Simon Hooper

Assistant Referees: Simon Long and Derek Eaton

Fourth Official: Michael Salisbury

VAR: Graham Scott 

Assistant VAR: Darren Cann

Watford 2021/22

375 fouls - 2nd most in Premier League 

52 yellow cards - 12th in Premier League 

2 red cards - 3rd in Premier League

MATCHDAY INFO

This weekend there is no London Overground service between Kilburn High Road and Euston and no National Rail service in or out of Euston. From West London, supporters can use the Richmond branch of the Overground, or Bakerloo Line through Paddington, to re-join the Watford High Street branch of the Overground at Willesden Junction.

Read our Travel Guide

HOW TO FOLLOW

Tomorrow's game will be shown around the world through the Premier League's broadcast partners. Click here to see if it is on where you are

In the UK, the game is only available on Bees Player. Former Brentford midfielder Carl Hutchings joins Mark Burridge for live commentary from Vicarage Road. 

Wherever you are around the globe, you can always keep across the action on our Twitter and Instagram feeds.


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