Watford vs Southampton Preview: Can Saints recover against Hornets?

Southampton make the trip to Vicarage Road on Sunday to face Watford in their latest Premier League game.

Saints will be looking to respond to a disappointing performance against Arsenal on Thursday that saw individual mistakes contribute towards the Gunners’ win.

Watford will be looking for a reaction too to give themselves an advantage over the clubs below them after losing narrowly to Burnley last time out.

The previous meeting of the two sides saw Saints score two late goals to claim a 2-1 victory that would be the beginning of their turn of fortunes.

Ahead of tomorrow’s match, we take a look at the context of the fixture and what a win could mean for either side:

Adam Masina of Watford competes for a header with Jan Bednarek of Southampton (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Why Watford could win

Watford have improved their situation considerably since bringing in Nigel Pearson as manager but results will have to pick up again if they are to secure their Premier League status for another year.

The Hornets have only won one of their last seven league games but survival remains very much in their own hands, and winning this weekend may prove crucial for their future prospects.

It has been a while since they have played a team close to them in the table too so they will be targeting all three points when facing Saints tomorrow.

Why Saints could win

Saints’ home form is by far the worst in the Premier League this season, but their away form – for whatever reason – is a whole lot better.

This may be due to an emphasis on sitting back and counter-attacking when playing away from home. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s pressing style is well suited to playing away and frustrating the opposition, whereas his side have to take the initiative at home.

Clinical countering and brutal finishing helped Saints to see off Norwich at Carrow Road in their first top-flight game back.

Team News

Watford look set to have the same players available to them that were up for selection ahead of their meeting with Burnley on Thursday.

Manager Nigel Pearson says that a final assessment of his squad will be made ahead of tomorrow’s game with Saints, but only long-term absentees Gerard Deulofeu, Daryl Janmaat and Isaac Success are definitely out.

After their 2-0 loss to Arsenal on Sunday, Saints look set to be without a couple of key men.

Jack Stephens will be out after being sent off in the latter stages of that game, whilst Moussa Djenepo will be serving the last of his three-match suspension.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg went off injured in stoppage-time too and will be assessed along with Sofiane Boufal, who missed the game with a thigh injury.

Related Story: Saints 0-2 Arsenal: Sloppy Saints contribute to Gunners win

Squads

WATFORD

Goalkeepers: Heurelho Gomes, Ben Foster, Daniel Bachmann, Pontus Dahlberg

Defenders: Kiko Femenia, Christian Kabasele, Craig Dawson, Adrian Mariappa, Adam Masina, Craig Cathcart, Jose Holebas,

Midfielders: Abdoulaye Doucoure, Tom Cleverly, Nathaniel Chalobah, Will Hughes, Etienne Capoue, Domingos Quina, Ismaila Sarr, Adalberto Penaranda, Roberto Pereyra

Forwards: Ignacio Pussetto, Andre Gray, Joao Pedro, Troy Deeney, Danny Welbeck

SAINTS

Goalkeepers: Alex McCarthy, Angus Gunn, Harry Lewis

Defenders: Yan Valery, Kyle Walker-Peters, Jannik Vestergaard, Jan Bednarek, Kevin Danso, Ryan Bertrand, Jake Vokins

Midfielders: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (late fitness test), James Ward-Prowse, Oriol Romeu, Will Smallbone, Stuart Armstrong, Nathan Redmond, Sofiane Boufal (late fitness test), Nathan Tella

Forwards: Shane Long, Che Adams, Danny Ings, Michael Obafemi

Predicted scoreline

Watford 1-1 Saints

Next: Six Saints players heading into the last year of his contract
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