Relegation six-pointer sees Watford host Aston Villa at Vicarage Road


Fresh-looking Watford under Nigel Pearson play Aston Villa in what will be a real relegation six-pointer.

Watford currently sit 19th on 13 points with Villa just above them on 18 points.

Watford were able to hold out for a draw against Sheffield United. Gerard Deulofeu’s goal was cancelled out by Oliver Norwood’s penalty with the two sides taking a credible draw.

Aston Villa were able to get their first win since Newcastle on the 25th November. Conor Hourihane’s goal in the 64th minute gave Villa the 1-0 win they needed against a relegation rival

Team news

Watford winger Ismaila Sarr should be fit despite suffering a swollen eye when he collided with an advertising hoarding against Sheffield United.

Troy Deeney could be rested, with head coach Nigel Pearson mindful of the captain’s injury problems this season.

Conor Hourihane is likely to be recalled to Villa’s starting line-up following his match-winning goal against Norwich on Boxing Day.

Tyrone Mings and Keinan Davis hope to be in contention after injuries.

Watford boss Nigel Pearson was encouraged by a steely resilience at the home of the Blades which once again helped the Hornets pick up a result despite not putting in their best performance.

“The important thing for me was that we showed some real traits of resilience in what is a difficult place to come to,” said the Head Coach.

“To come away with a positive result is good for us. The mantra is, I suppose, if you can’t win, don’t get beat. We had to dig our heels in and be resilient and sometimes ride our luck but we go away with something for our efforts.”

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith spoke to the press after the Norwich game and was delighted with the result.

“I am happy for the lads. We performed okay today [against Norwich]. We didn’t perform well against Southampton and we really needed this.

“We were sloppy at times but it was a really important game for us.

“Everything you get in this league you have to earn it and the lads have earnt it today.”


Aston Villa’s solitary victory in their nine away games against Watford came in the Premier League in August 1999 (D3, L5).


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