Match Preview: West Brom vs Watford.

15/04/2016 19:14

Watford head to the Hawthorns on Saturday to face West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League, with the Golden Boys looking to build on last week's draw with Everton.

The Hornets were much better than they have been in recent weeks and that result could prove to be crucial for the Golden Boys, as it stops the rot and restores some much needed confidence ahead of what is an important week for everyone connected with the club.

After Saturday's match, Watford then head to Upton Park on Wednesday to face in form West Ham before its then on to the big one, as next Sunday Quique Sanchez Flores' men head to Wembley, where they will meet Crystal Palace in the FA Cup semi-final.

A win against the Baggies would be important for Watford for a number of reasons. It will build some much needed confidence and a bit of momentum ahead of next week's game, whilst it will also increase the distance between the Hornets and the bottom three.

Last week's point means that Watford now sit in 15th place in the table, although a win over Tony Pulis' men at the weekend would mean that the Hornets could move up to 11th spot if results go their way.

The Baggies currently sit one place above the Golden Boys in 14th and these are the type of games I feel Watford need to be taking points from.

A goalless draw was played out in front of those at Vicarage Road back in August in the return fixture. Watford were the better side on that day, in what was the Hornets' first home game back in the top-flight, but Quique Sanchez Flores' men struggled to break down a resolute West Bromwich Albion defence.

Tony Pulis is the manager at the Hawthorns and he has done another solid, yet unspectacular job with West Brom all set to remain in the top-flight once again.

The team's playing style and set-up under Pulis has caused debate among Baggies supporters, but at the end of the day it gets results.

The key player for West Bromwich Albion tomorrow will be striker Salomon Rondon. The strapping centre forward has scored eight goals in 34 appearances for the Baggies this season and he has forged a good strike partnership with Saido Berahino in recent weeks.

The strikers powerful style of play has caused defenders problems this season and eight goals marks a decent return for the Venezuelan striker in his first season in English football, after moving to the Baggies from Zenit St Petersburg where he scored 17 goals in 38 appearances in his one and only season with the Russian club.

Saturday's fixture is an important one for Watford. Whilst the FA Cup Semi-Final is a nice distraction and an important game, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels in the Premier League. We are still not mathematically safe and it is so important that we pick up points soon, in order to maintain the gap to the bottom three.

It might take time, given West Brom's resilient defence, but if the Hornets can improve on their performance last week against Everton, then they stand a good chance of walking away from the Hawthorns with a point or
three on Saturday.

Team News

For West Brom, Salomon Rondon has recovered from a knock and is fit. Alex Pritchard and Callum McManaman are both doubts. James Morrison is  expected to miss the next three games.

For Watford, Quique Sanchez Flores has no new injury concerns. Joel Ekstrand and Tommie Hoban remain out of action.

Predicted Teams

West Brom - Foster (GK), Dawson, McAuley, Evans, Chester, Sessegnon, Sandro, Fletcher ©, Sessegnon, Berahino, McClean, Rondon.

Watford - Gomes (GK), Paredes, Cathcart, Britos, Holebas, Guedioura, Watson, Capoue, Jurado, Deeney ©, Ighalo.

Referee - Michael Oliver.