Norwich v Watford: Six-pointer showdown at Carrow Road

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PREMIER LEAGUE football takes centre-stage on Friday night as struggling Watford travel to Norwich. James O'Rourke (@JamesOR1) shares his thoughts.

Norwich v Watford | Friday 8th November 2019, 19:45 | Sky Sports

I’m not really a fan of the term ‘six-pointer’, especially when we’ve only played 11 games of the season, but there is certainly a case for Norwich versus Watford falling into that category!

We may only be 11 games in but both teams cannot buy a win at present, certainly in the case of winless Watford, and both will know that this represents a realistic chance to do so and install some good feeling around their respective club.

Norwich’s early season fairytale has come to an end based on recent showings. The home win over Manchester City was clearly an immense high, but it is a high that they’ve not been able to reach since then. In fact, they’ve only scored two goals since then, although those came in their last two at home.

The Canaries have their two Premier League victories coming at Carrow Road and undoubtedly they’d have known before the season started that their home form will be vital to them. They’re normally good value at home and have scored in every home league game in 2019. The concern comes at the other end in front of their fans as they’ve shipped an average of 3.25 goals across their last four at home.

Watford started the season with higher aspirations under Javi Gracia after a good performance last season in flirting with the top-half of the table and reaching the FA Cup Final. However, as is the case a lot of the time, it is hard to replicate such successes when you’re not used to it, and Watford have had issues in attack and defence. They’re the lowest scorers with six, but travelling to a leaky Norwich side may afford them some encouragement.

Quique Sanchez Flores is now back at the club and he has definitely made an impact since doing so, even if they’re yet to win. Three draws in their last four league encounters, the other being a defeat to in-form Chelsea, indicates he is going back to basics and wants them to be much harder to beat. They kept two clean sheets in those three draws, but ultimately they need a win.

Games at Carrow Road this season have been lively affairs, with all of them finishing over 3.5 goals. That run will surely end at some point, especially with Norwich now struggling for goals, and Watford themselves aren’t free-flowing in attack either. It is hard to ignore the stats of goals at this stadium however, so there are three goals angles I will go towards.

One is for Two Exact Total Goals at 3/1 (BoyleSports). Watford actually average more shots on goal than Norwich despite scoring five goals fewer, and Norwich have lacked a goal threat in recent weeks. 60% of Watford’s away games has totalled exactly two goals and this is clearly a big bottom of the table game and some nerves will be on show.

The final plays are Teemu Pukki (6/5, Bet365) and Gerard Deulofeu (11/5, 888) to score anytime. Both are the two most likely to score based on the numbers. Pukki has had double the amount of shots compared to the player with the second-highest shot count in the Norwich squad. Plus, he is due a goal!

Also, Deulofeu is the highest Hornet shot taken, and with Troy Deeney missing there is a big emphasis on the former Barcelona man to deliver the goods.

Best Bets

Norwich v Watford – Teemu Pukki to score at anytime (6/5 Bet365)

Norwich v Watford – Gerard Deulofeu to score at anytime (11/5 888)

Norwich v Watford – Exact Total Goals: 2 (3/1 BoyleSports)

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