There is no getting away from the fact that it has been a desperately poor campaign for Watford thus far, but it would also be fair to say that the team has shown great improvement since Nigel Pearson joined the club.
Four points from their last last two matches, coupled with Norwich's struggles, has seen Watford move off the foot of the table. They are still six points from the safety of 17th position, but there is still a lot of football to be played before the end of the 2019-20 campaign.
The Hertfordshire club have incredibly only scored 12 Premier League goals this season, but Troy Deeney's return has been hugely important, while Gerard Deulofeu impressed against United before putting in another excellent performance against the Blades on Boxing Day.
Watford have also won their last two Premier League matches against Villa, with their last meeting at Vicarage Road taking place in April 2016.
Despite boasting some excellent players and spending heavily over the summer, there is no getting away from the fact that it has also been a struggle for Villa during the 2019-20 campaign.
Dean Smith's side lost four straight Premier League matches between December 4 and December 21 but did manage to pick up a 1-0 win over Norwich on Boxing Day.
Five wins and three draws from 19 matches has brought them 18 points, leaving them one point behind 17th-placed West Ham United, although the Hammers do have a game in hand.
Villa's next two are huge as they travel to Watford and Burnley before the small matter of a home game against Manchester City on January 12, by which point Smith will hope to be out of the relegation zone.
It is also set to be an interesting January in terms of transfers, with Villa chiefs believed to be considering another busy window in a bid to fight off the threat of relegation back to the second tier.
Watford Premier League form: LLDLWD
Aston Villa Premier League form: DLLLLW
Watford possible starting lineup:
Foster; Mariappa, Kabasele, Cathcart, Kiko; Doucoure, Capoue, Hughes; Pereyra, Deeney, Deulofeu
Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Heaton; Guilbert, Engels, Hause, Targett; Luiz, Hourihane; Jota, Grealish, El Ghazi; Wesley
We say: Watford 1-1 Aston Villa
It is difficult to call this game a relegation six-pointer at this stage of the season, but both managers will be desperate for a positive result this weekend. Watford have shown huge improvement under Pearson, although we expect Villa to pick up something for their efforts as both sides will be dealing with fatigue.
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