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Watford vs West Brom predictions: Hornets can sting shot-shy Albion
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Steve Davies
Valerien Ismael is under pressure to get Watford into the play-off picture
Valerien Ismael is under pressure to get Watford into the play-off picture

- Watford snapped a five-game winless streak by beating Birmingham 2-0 
- West Brom are without an away win in six matches 
- Recommended bet: Watford to win

Watford and West Brom, under pressure from owners to be challenging this year after poor campaigns last time, are stuttering at the start of 2023-24.

The Hornets secured just their second Championship win of the season on Saturday, leaving it late before beating Birmingham 2-0. 

West Brom, meanwhile, barely landed a blow in a poor 0-0 draw at Bristol City.

Both are on eight points and under pressure to force their way into the promotion hunt.

Team news

Ken Sema picked up an injury during the international break and has not shaken it off.

Former Baggies' boss Valerien Ismael could bring in Jamal Lewis at left-back while it is possible Giorgi Chakvetadze could come in for Tom Ince.

Striker Vakoun Bayo missed the win over Birmingham with a muscle strain but is expected to be fit and may start.

West Brom have been rocked by the news that Josh Maja picked up an injury at Bristol City. 

Slated to start at Watford, it means Jeremy Sarmiento and Jon Swift are likely to be the duo either side of central striker Brandon Thomas-Asante.

Matt Phillips and Jed Wallace's places are under threat with Conor Townsend and Alex Mowatt pressing to be included.

The stats

Watford are unbeaten in their last five league matches against West Brom, who have failed to win on their last five visits to Vicarage Road, losing the last three.

Each of Watford's last five league games have been level at half time.

West Brom's matches are averaging 3.2 goals per game – only four teams' games were yielding more going into this round of fixtures.


Carlos Corberan's West Brom have struggled on the road in 2023
Carlos Corberan's West Brom have struggled on the road in 2023

West Brom have won only twice on their travels in all competitions since January, a run that includes a 3-2 defeat at Watford last season.

That alone would make them hard to be bullish about at Vicarage Road.

Throw in the fact that on Saturday at Bristol City they failed to register a single shot on target in a dour 0-0 draw, and the preference here is for Watford.

Only four sides average fewer shots per game than Carlos Corberan's men and they will be under the cosh at Watford.

The Hornets are a possession-dominant side under ex-Throstles' chief Ismael and West Brom's prospects of doing much damage on the counter has been hindered by the injury to Josh Maja.

Watford have generally looked very good at home and create a stack of scoring chances, though they can be overly precise, overly patient.

They had Birmingham on the rack for long periods at the weekend but it was only as the game reached the last quarter that they really started to show some urgency and were rewarded with two late goals from Mileta Rajovic.

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