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Wolverhampton vs. Watford

Watford (14-8-13) vs. Wolverhampton (14-9-12)

Premier League: Saturday 27-04-2019 at 15:00 UST (Vicarage Road)

Odds: Watford: 2.80, Draw: 3.30, Wolverhampton: 2.75

Free Premier League picks Watford vs. Wolverhampton

Watford welcomes Wolverhampton on Saturday for their second confrontation in three weeks. The Hornets and Wolves met on April the 7th at Wembley in a thrilling FA Cup semifinal. Watford won that game 3-2 despite being down 2-0 with ten minutes to go. They will face Manchester City, who qualified against Brighton, in May to hopefully end their season in a crowning moment. The Hornets have started their preparation for this game quite slowly. Indeed, since edging out the Wolves, they have gained four points out of a possible nine in the league. Watford lost 1-0 at home to Arsenal in an engaging game, which could have produced a more impressive scoreline. They showed more realism in front of goals against Huddersfield, 2-1, before conceding a home draw to Southampton, 1-1. The eighth-placed Watford will hope to continue the preparation for their season’s highlight with a win this weekend.

Wolverhampton have had a form comparable to Watford’s since their FA Cup loss. Indeed, the Wolves also picked up four out of nine points in the last three weeks. However, they come from a very convincing 3-1 win to Arsenal, denying the Gunners a chance to go fourth. Wolverhampton have especially been very consistent this season. This is notably due to a coherent defensive system and deadly counter-attacks. Their defence is the 5th in the league and has been their main asset throughout the season. In fact, according to Understat, they have even been slightly unlucky in defence. Wolves‘s “Expected Goals Against” (xGA) are at 39.58, compared to the 43 conceded. Right now, Wolves hold the “best of the rest” seventh place, one point in front of Watford. A win over their rivals could consolidate this honorific title. This match promises to be very engaging.

The Hornets’ coach Javi Gracia will have an almost full squad for Saturday. The Spanish tactician will still not be able to count on Deeney, who is still suspended. Andre Gray, who scored the late equaliser against Southampton, should start in his stead. Holebas is back from injury and should start as left-back in Gracia’s 4-4-2. The rest of the defensive line should be composed of Femenia, Cathcart and Kabasele. Capoue and Doucouré should form the heart of the midfield. Indeed, the French pair has been very solid this season and their athletic abilities have been integral to Watford’s system.  On the right wing, Will Hughes should start with Pereyra on the left. In attack, Deulofeu, the FA Cup semifinal hero, should start next to Gray.

Nuno Espirito Santo should compose his team in his usual 3-5-2. The Portuguese tactician should have a lineup similar to the one which beat Arsenal. Rio Patricio should start in goals with a line of Bennett, Coady and Boly in front of him. The wing-backs should be Doherty, who scored on Wenesday, and Castro. In the midfield, Moutinho, Neves and Dedoncker should all keep their starting spot. The trio is a well-oiled system mixing technicality and resilience. Finally, Jota, who was very impressive against Arsenal, and Jimenez should complete the lineup. The tandem has developed great chemistry and combined for 20 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League.

Free Premier League schedule Wolverhampton vs. Watford

Wolverhampton, despite Santo’s claims, could treat this game as a good way to take revenge on Watford. Furthermore, the Portuguese’s team seems to be on better form than Watford. Both teams are however full of talent and very successfully coached. This game should be a very interesting and fast-paced one but I see Wolves edging it out.

PICK: Watford 1-2 Wolves