BURNLEY welcome Watford to Turf Moor on Thursday night. Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) delivers his betting analysis.
Burnley v Watford | Thursday 25th June 2020, 18:00 | Sky Sports
Just three days after being tonked 5-0 at Man City, Burnley have the chance to put that behind them. However, Sean Dyche’s hand might still be limited.
The club are yet to agree on several short-term contracts, so the likes of Joe Hart, Aaron Lennon, Phil Bardsley and Jeff Hendrick may not be included. Plus, the goal threat they have might be reduced further with injuries to key men like Ashley Barnes, Chris Wood and Robbie Brady.
The Clarets are marooned in mid-table having done the heavy lifting earlier on in the campaign, so you can expect to see some of their players going through the motions, as they look forward to the beach.
Watford have plenty at stake. They sit just a point clear of danger at the time of writing and you know Nigel Pearson will have his side fighting for everything. We saw that with the late, late show when Craig Dawson rescued a point against Leicester.
With Burnley’s off the field issues then the Hornets will have to grab this opportunity with both hands. It’s one that they must profit from if they want to survive.
Tackles against Sarr
The visitors will look to get the ball to the talented Ismaila Sarr at any opportunity. And when he starts driving at defenders, your eyes light up in two ways – the thought of a potential booking and the chance to rack up the tackles.
The same can be said on the other side where Roberto Pereyra will be plying his trade. Both agile, nimble players that give full-backs plenty of headaches throughout the 90 minutes.
If Woods and Barnes are out, then Burnley will lack an outlet ball, something they didn’t have against Man City – although it still wouldn’t have helped a great deal.
That could see the Hornets profit from seeing plenty of the ball in the midfield third before getting it to Sarr and Pereyra to drive at the likes of Charlie Taylor and Matt Lowton.
Watford have something to play for, so it’s more appealing looking towards them trying to dictate the tempo and force the issue. Looking back to Saturday, both Leicester full-backs managed to complete a high number of tackles – James Justin 7/8 and Ben Chilwell 4/4.
Before lockdown similar can be said Luke Shaw made four in their 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford, Patrick van Aanholt made a couple, as did Brighton’s Steven Alzate off the bench.
Those wide areas are going to be crucial to Watford’s plans here. Get the ball down the channels, so the two tricky wingers can beat their man and put a cross into the talismanic Troy Deeney.
With that in mind, it’s worth looking at Burnley full-backs in the tackles markets. At the time of writing, Sky Bet have the best prices, and they seem fair enough.
Taylor was kept busy on Monday night making three tackles and Lowton also chipped in with two. The left-back has made at least two in five of his last seven appearances, plus he made three in the reverse fixture.
Sky Bet go 5/6 on 2+ Taylor tackles and 5/2 on 3+, both look attractive lines given how this game could well play out with Watford’s need for points and Burnley’s issues.
A word of warning – the left-back position is one area in which the hosts do have another option – Erik Pieters. He’s not the quickest, so I’d expect Taylor to get the nod.
The beard to be feared
A new look Mike Dean has the whistle and you’ve got to look towards cards when he’s in the middle. The Merseyside derby on Sunday wasn’t feisty yet both teams saw two cards each.
So, given Watford’s need to battle then we could see him dishing out the cards once more. The Hornets have picked up the third-most cards in the league, and have committed the second-highest number of fouls.
Using the Bet365 Bet Builder feature, Burnley over one card and Watford over one card came out at 6/4 – that will be a price that entices a fair few given his tendency to throw them about. And, it’s part of the reason he’s shown the highest number this season.
Although that looks something of a belter, I can’t resist going in on something that looks overpriced all things considered. I’ve mentioned above about how Watford are likely to attack down both flanks and that could mean a busy night for Taylor.
He’s 9/2 with Sky Bet and William Hill for a card, yet Bet365 have him down at a massive 7/1. That’s an implied probability of 12.5% and with who he’ll come up against, plus the referee – it just looks too big.
Of course, team news will be important, but if Taylor starts you’ve got to be all over that price. He put in a shift against Man City on Monday, so the quick turnaround lends itself to some weary limbs. Plus, Watford’s extra couple of recovery days should see Sarr and Pereyra flying down both flanks.