Even if our Lancashire home hasn’t played host to a wealth of strikes so far this term, this fixture has traditionally seen attackers emerging with far more credit than defenders over the years, whilst Watford’s fluid, forward-thinking approach should present an interesting contrast to the Clarets’ typically more cautious playing style. 16 of the past 20 clashes between the sides have yielded goals for both teams, circumstances also true of four of the Hornets’ last five away trips, and that would be my idea of a banker bet here, for all that you won’t get rich taking the general 19/20 odds on offer.
I’ve used this platform to outline a belief that Marco Silva is overrated amongst the British media and neutral supporters in the past, but that is not to suggest I’m not a fan of his expansive brand of football. I simply feel that Silva has had lots to work with in terms of talent and funds at his disposal in both of his roles in English football – overseeing Hull’s relegation last season, of course.
Admittedly the style of football his teams play is more consistently easy on the eye than that of Sean Dyche, but my suspicion is that his more exotic personal profile has potential suitors salivating in an age where current social media opinion probably takes on as much credence as long-term foresight. Either way, the touchline battle of wits between two of the top flight’s most promising bosses should translate into a fascinating contest on the pitch.
Opposition Player Most Feared
Richarlison has already proved a shrewd summer addition for the Hornets, and at just 20 years old, looks to have the potential to go to the very top. If Phil Bardsley retains Burnley’s right-back berth for the third game in succession, he will face his toughest task yet in preventing the Brazilian from adding to his five goals and three assists for the campaign. Andre Gray will be fired up to notch on his return to Turf Moor too.
Predicted Starting XI
In the absence of the injured Robbie Brady, Scott Arfield is likely to be restored to the Clarets starting 11 for the first time in more than a month. We’ll have to hope the Canada international can team a touch of quality with his endless endeavour in order to prove an adequate stopgap in place of our resident set-piece specialist. Matt Lowton will face a fitness test and could return at right back.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson
2-2. For all that Watford look particularly potent on the counter attack, I fancy us to find the net on a couple of occasions too. A score draw seems the likeliest outcome in my mind.
3-1 Burnley. Hopefully we can effectively combat an inevitable swarm of Hornets counter attacks, and actually pick them off ourselves on the break.