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Jan 21, 2022 at 8pm UK at Vicarage Road
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Dennis (36')
Dennis (78')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Sargent (51', 74'), Kucka (90+2' og.)
McLean (38')

Preview: Watford vs. Norwich City - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Watford vs. Norwich City - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Premier League clash between Watford and Norwich City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Norwich City will be looking to make it back-to-back Premier League wins when they travel to Vicarage Road on Friday night to take on fellow strugglers Watford.

The Canaries will enter the contest off the back of a 2-1 win over Everton, while Watford came from behind to claim a point away to Newcastle United last time out.

Match preview

Watford will enter the match off the back of a 1-1 draw with Newcastle on Saturday; the Hornets were losing 1-0 until the 87th minute of the clash at St James' Park, when Joao Pedro came up with a vital equaliser.

Claudio Ranieri's side were due to return to action away to Burnley on Tuesday evening, but the match had to be postponed due to a lack of available players for the home side.

The draw with Newcastle actually ended a run of seven straight defeats in all competitions, but the Hornets have not managed to triumph in the Premier League since thrashing Manchester United 4-1 on November 20, and a total of 14 points from 19 matches has left them in 17th position in the table.

It is difficult to look too closely at the bottom of the division, though, as basement side Burnley have only played 17 matches and have four games in hand on 18th-placed Norwich, who have played two more matches than Watford and sit a point behind them ahead of their meeting on Friday.

Ranieri's team have the worst home record in the Premier League this term, picking up just seven points from their 10 matches, but Norwich have the third-worst away record in England's top flight this season, losing seven of their 10 matches, collecting only five points in the process.

Norwich, meanwhile, will enter the contest off the back of a huge 2-1 win over Everton on Saturday, with an own goal from Michael Keane and an effort from Adam Idah enough to overcome the Toffees at Carrow Road.

The Canaries have managed to move off the bottom of the division into 18th, but as mentioned, they have played three more matches than Burnley and one more than Newcastle, who sit 19th, so a lot could change at the bottom of the table once teams have managed to play their fixtures in hand.

Nevertheless, Dean Smith's side have given themselves a fighting chance to stay in England's top flight, and they have actually now won two of their last three matches in all competitions, having also overcome Charlton Athletic in the FA Cup on January 9.

Norwich have lost each of their last five league matches against Watford, though, including a 3-1 defeat when the two teams locked horns at Carrow Road in the Premier League back in September.

The Canaries last overcame Watford in England's top flight back in May 2016, while they have not beaten the Hornets on their travels in the league since February 2015.

Watford Premier League form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

Watford form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

Norwich City Premier League form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W

Norwich City form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

Watford remain without the services of Nicolas Nkoulou, Peter Etebo, Kwadwo Baah and Ismaila Sarr through injury, while Imran Louza, Adam Masina, William Troost-Ekong are in action at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Fit-again Kiko Femenia is expected to return to the starting XI at right-back, while Tom Cleverley could potentially be handed a spot in the middle of the park.

Ranieri is otherwise likely to keep faith with the same group of players that took to the whistle for the first whistle against Newcastle last time out.

Emmanuel Dennis and Joao Pedro should again support Joshua King in the final third, while recent arrivals Samir, Hassane Kamara and Edo Kayembe should retain their starting spots.

As for Norwich, a lengthy injury list includes Billy Gilmour, Christoph Zimmermann, Mathias Normann, Lukas Rupp and Andrew Omobamidele.

Kenny McLean is also expected to miss out following a positive COVID-19 test, but Max Aarons and Brandon Williams should all be cleared after taking knocks against Everton.

Idah should retain his spot alongside Teemu Pukki in the final third of the field, while an attacking side should also include Milot Rashica and Joshua Sargent in the wide areas.

Watford possible starting lineup:
Foster; Femenia, Cathcart, Samir, Kamara; Kayembe; Dennis, Sissoko, Cleverley, Pedro; King

Norwich City possible starting lineup:
Gunn; Aarons, Hanley, Gibson, Williams; Sargent, Sorensen, Lees-Melou, Rashica; Pukki, Idah

We say: Watford 2-1 Norwich City

Watford are certainly capable of pulling off big results, especially at home, and we just have a feeling for the Hornets here. Norwich will have been boosted by their impressive victory at Everton, but we are expecting Ranieri's side to collect all three points on Friday courtesy of a narrow success.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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