PREMIER LEAGUE: The Striker previews WATFORD v NORWICH with a recommended BETDAQ bet and extended match stats.


8pm Friday Night Football doesn’t come much bigger than this as we have a massive clash at the bottom of the table! Watford host Norwich under immense pressure as Norwich have closed the gap down to one point after beating Everton last weekend. Watford have two games in hand on Norwich, but they will be feeling the heat here and it’s been quite a while now since they won a game. It’s going to be a very interesting evening on BETDAQ Betting Exchange. Watford are trading pretty short at the time of writing – currently 2.16 which is pretty skinny considering they have been so poor lately.

Most of the crunch games towards the bottom of the Premier League recently have ended with a draw, and it has paid to lay the favourite. Newcastle traded around the same odds against Watford last weekend, Newcastle and Norwich also drew 1-1 when they met too. As I said last weekend, it is difficult to fully assess the sides here because they are so average against the better sides. This is a big drop in class for both sides, and my gut feeling always says these games are closer than the odds suggest. 2.16 feels very short on Watford – the xG table doesn’t really move either side so the bottom four is a fair reflection of their performance level.

Norwich were very good against Everton last weekend, and they deserved to win. Rafa Benitez was sacked after that game, and obviously we have to take into consideration if the dressing room wasn’t happy with the manager then the performance level would obviously take a dip there. That would have been a huge boost for Norwich nonetheless because in recent weeks they have looked very poor. The way the results have fallen though has given them a massive chance to stay up, and that Everton win means they arrive into this fixture with the full belief that they can stay up. A win here puts them out of the relegation zone, and give the run from Watford at the moment the games in hand might not matter.

So, a lot at stake here. Watford grinded out a 1-1 draw against Newcastle last weekend in a very even game. We landed a nice bet on the draw there, and it’s very tempting to have the same bet here at 3.6. I feel the best value option here though is the Watford lay at 2.16. I fully expect a closer game than those odds suggest, and it’s also nice to have the Norwich win on our side too. Norwich have a poor record away from home, but Watford are rock bottom in the home form table so I think they counter each other. I can only really see a very close game here, a cagey game and the Watford lay looks the right call.

The Striker Says:
Three points lay (liability) Watford to beat Norwich at 2.16 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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● Watford have won each of their last five league games against Norwich, last having a longer winning run against an opponent vs Ipswich (6 between 2005 and 2008).
● Norwich have won just one of their last eight away league games against Watford (D2 L5), winning 3-0 in the Championship in February 2015.
● Norwich have won just three of their last 29 away league games played on a Friday (D8 L18), a run stretching back to 1967.
● Watford have lost each of their last four home league games, last losing more consecutively at Vicarage Road between October and December 2013 in the Championship (5).
● In their last Premier League match against Everton, Norwich City scored more than once for only the fourth time in their last 45 top-flight matches, winning 2-1. Before that win, the Canaries had only scored one goal in their previous eight games (D2 L6).
● Since beating Liverpool 3-0 in February 2020, Watford have conceded at least once in each of their last 15 Premier League home games. The last team to have a longer run without a home clean sheet in the competition were Aston Villa (16 between December 2012 and October 2013).
● Norwich have scored the fewest (3) and conceded the most (25) away goals in the Premier League so far this season. Their three goals scored is the fewest 10 away games into a Premier League campaign since 2008-09, when both Fulham and West Brom also had three.
● Following their victory against Everton last time out, Dean Smith is looking to become the first Norwich manager to win back-to-back Premier League games with the club since Alex Neil in April 2016. The Canaries have won two in a row already this season, with Daniel Farke and Smith in charge for one game each.
● Norwich have netted the first goal in fewer Premier League games than any other side this season, though they have gone on to win both games in which they opened the scoring.
● Adam Idah scored his first Premier League goal for Norwich last time out against Everton – the last player from the Republic of Ireland and aged younger than 21 to score in back-to-back Premier League appearances was Shane Long (in October 2007 for Reading).