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Preview: Burnley vs. Watford - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Burnley vs. Watford - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Premier League clash between Burnley and Watford, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Since this article was published, this game has been called off due to a coronavirus outbreak in the Watford squad. A new date for the game will be confirmed in due course.

Seeking to end a three-game Premier League run without a goal, Burnley play host to fellow strugglers Watford at Turf Moor on Wednesday night.

The Clarets held West Ham United to a goalless draw last time out, while Claudio Ranieri's side went down in cruel fashion to Brentford by two goals to one.

Match preview

Despite boasting just 41% possession and facing a total of 16 shots from West Ham, Burnley held firm at Turf Moor to come away with a point against the Champions League hopefuls.

Ben Mee and Nick Pope both starred on the day as the Clarets claimed a very respectable 0-0 stalemate with David Moyes's side, but that point has done very little to drag them out of danger as their winless and scoreless run continues.

This week's hosts do still have a game in hand on their relegation rivals following the postponement of the Tottenham Hotspur clash, but they remain below the dotted line in 18th - only one clear of both Norwich City and Newcastle United.

The Clarets are only two points behind their upcoming opponents Watford having played one game fewer, but they remain on just one win for the season and have now gone five without victory - drawing four of them and failing to score in each of their last three.

Burnley can at least take solace in the fact that they are unbeaten in four top-flight games at Turf Moor heading into Wednesday's fixture, and Watford may still be reeling from the manner of their Friday night defeat.

It did not take a genius to work out who would break the deadlock for Watford at the Brentford Community Stadium, as Emmanuel Dennis's seventh goal of the league season put the Hornets in the ascendancy before the Bees' sting proved more potent.

Thomas Frank's men would not respond until the 84th minute through Pontus Jansson, and in the sixth minute of second-half injury time, Bryan Mbeumo won it from the spot after William Troost-Ekong felled Saman Ghoddos.

It was a devastating way for Watford to fall to their fourth successive Premier League defeat - one which drags them ever closer to danger as they sit 17th in the rankings and just two points clear of their upcoming hosts having played a game more.

For all of their qualities in attack, the Hornets have not kept a single clean sheet in any of their 16 Premier League games this season, so Burnley's misfiring attack would pick no better time to return to scoring ways in this basement battle.

Furthermore, Watford have only won one of their last six Premier League encounters with Burnley and have failed to score in each of their last three, with the Clarets picking up 1-0 and 3-0 wins in the 2019-20 season before the Hornets' demotion.

Burnley Premier League form:
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D

Watford Premier League form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

Burnley may be able to welcome Maxwel Cornet back from a thigh problem in midweek, while Dale Stephens and Connor Roberts are also touch and go with illnesses.

Ashley Barnes is facing "weeks" in the treatment room, though, and Dyche may consider introducing Matej Vydra to the attack after hauling Chris Wood off on the hour mark against West Ham.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson's spot may come under threat if Cornet returns, but the hosts should not make too many alterations from the stalemate with West Ham.

As for Watford, Peter Etebo, Ben Foster, Nicolas N'Koulou, Ismaila Sarr and Kwadwo Baah all remain out for the long term, and Adam Masina is also struggling with a thigh problem.

Francisco Sierralta is the closest to a comeback as he eyes a return to full training at some point this week, but this game will most likely come too soon for the 24-year-old.

It would not have been surprising to see Christian Kabasele considered for a start over Troost-Ekong after his costly error at Brentford, but he has picked up a knock in training, while Danny Rose is a candidate to return at left-back.

Burnley possible starting lineup:
Pope; Lowton, Mee, Tarkowski, Taylor; Gudmundsson, Brownhill, Westwood, McNeil; Rodriguez, Wood

Watford possible starting lineup:
Bachmann; Femenia, Troost-Ekong, Cathcart, Rose; Kucka, Sissoko, Louza; Hernandez, King, Dennis

We say: Burnley 1-1 Watford

Watford's free-scoring attack may be blunted by a familiar Burnley backline this week, with Ranieri's side not exactly high on numbers or confidence at the minute.

The Clarets can also expect to end their barren run in front of goal against this leaky visiting rearguard, but they will likely only possess the firepower to claim one point rather than all three.

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