MONDAY night football brings together Swansea and Watford in Wales. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) surveys the action for us.
Swansea v Watford | Monday 20:00 | Sky Sports 1
Since they got promoted to the top-flight back in 2011 Swansea have never really been in a relegation fight but that’s exactly what they’re in here as we hit mid-January in this fascinating season.
The Swans are in 18th place in the table with just four wins from their 21 matches and it’s worth remembering that they started the season in good nick with an unbeaten run from their first four matches that included a win over Manchester United.
Since that heady Bank Holiday Sunday they’re P17 W2 D5 L10 and the wins came against Aston Villa and West Brom. It’s hardly inspiring stuff eh?
Garry Monk of course left at the start of December and was replaced by one of his backroom staff Alan Curtis. Initially Curtis seemed to steady the ship with an unbeaten run of three on either side of unlucky defeats to the Manchester sides but it’s turned a little sour since.
An FA Cup defeat to Oxford last Sunday was concerning but more worryingly that was followed up by leaking four goals to Sunderland last midweek as they went down 4-2.
Curtis had been handed the reins till the end of the season but they already seem to have panicked and seem to be bringing in ex-Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin.
The skies are a lot brighter at Watford despite the fact they’ve lost their last three league matches. The Hertfordshire side sit 12th in the table, 10 points ahead of their Monday opponents.
A winless run of four can be excused when you realise the games have been against four of last season’s Top 7 and included a draw at Stamford Bridge. This test should be far less taxing.
What I like about this side too is their toughness. Five of their eight losses this season were by the odd goal and rarely for a promoted side have never really been handed a hammering this season.
One fly in the ointment for this game is the news of Guidolin’s arrivial. How will the players react to that? Will they down tools for Curtis or step up to impress the new man? It adds a confusing dimension to the contest.
Having said that, it’s the away team that I have faith in here. This on paper is their easiest league fixture for over a month and they have nothing to fear in my view.
I’ll back Watford in the Draw No Bet market and have a little nibble on them to win 2-1 at a fulfilling 13/1 with BetVictor. They’ve won three of their last six away games – including a trip to Stoke.
Swansea v Watford – Watford Draw No Bet (5/4 Bet365)
Swansea v Watford – Watford to win 2-1 (13/1 BetVictor)
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