Burnley hope to strengthen their survival hopes in relegation six-pointer against Watford


Burnley look to make it two wins in a row as they face Watford in the desperate scrap for survival.

The hosts come into this game off the back of a heavy 5-1 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, while Burnley head to Hertfordshire following a well-earned victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers with Matej Vydra scoring the only goal of the game. The Clarets are two points clear of the relegation zone, but fellow strugglers Everton do have a game in hand.

On the Contrary, the Hornets are nine points adrift of safety and manager Roy Hodgson knows they must secure the all-important three points to have any chance of producing  a great escape. Hodgson’s side find themselves in 19th place with just one win in their last five games.

The away side will enter this contest as favourites, as they look to continue their  impressive recent form under new manager Mike Jackson. Burnley have lost just one of their last five and will be confident of leaving Vicarage Road with all three points.

Jackson’s men have had the better of Watford in recent meetings, although nothing could separate the sides when they met back in February with the two sides drew 0-0 at Turf Moor in a drab encounter that would further plunge both sides into danger.

Team News 

Hodgson will be again without forward Cucho Hernandez, who is set to continue his spell on the sidelines. However, Watford could be boosted by the returns of Juraj Kucka, Kiko Femenia, Samuel Kalu and Francisco Sierralta, who have all been made available for this relegation clash. There is also a chance for Kwadwo Baah to make a return to the side, following his recovery from an ankle injury.

On the other hand, Jackson will be without Ashley Westwood, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Erick Pieters and Ben Mee, with all four players doubts to return before the end of the season. Striker Jay Rodriguez picked up a calf injury against Wolves and is a doubt for this relegation six-pointer. A late decision will be made regarding the  involvement of Maxwel Cornet, who is facing a race to be fit for this clash.

The Managers:

Ray Lewington

The assistant manager addressed the press instead of Roy Hodgson, who was unwell. Lewington admitted it will be tough for Watford to stay up, but believes  there is a chance they stay up.

“With every game we lose it makes it harder. The only comfort Roy and I have got is that we did experience something similar at Fulham.

“And as hopeless as the situation looks, there is a way out sometimes.”

Mike Jackson 

The interim boss says his side are fully committed and are taking things one game at a time.

“At this moment in time, we are going to go one game at a time.We are think that is the best way at the moment.

“We want to go one game at a time because it suits the way things are going. We’ve just got to take care of ourselves and it’s the way we’ve approached this from the very start.

“’I’ve always said we stay in the now, we can’t read the future and that’s the best way to play football by staying in the moment.”

Defeat for the Hornets will all but mathematically seal their fate, as it would send them 12 points from safety with four games to play and the second worst goal difference in the league. However, if Hodgson’s side was able to pull off a victory, then the great escape may be on with just a six point deficit to overcome. As for Burnley, a win for them could put Everton in some serious hot water, but would see them take a huge leap towards securing their Premier League status.

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