Albion travel to Vicarage Road on Tuesday evening looking to improve on their relatively meagre tally of three league away wins this season, to face a Watford side whose impressive early season form faltered late last year onwards leaving them in a mid-table position with half an eye on the teams below them.
Before the clubs met at the Hawthorns in early December, Watford sat in 8th place with 18 points, one place and one point above the Baggies. Albion’s comfortable victory that day saw them leapfrog the Hornets into 6th place picking up the first three of the 27 points that they have registered since the start of December. Watford, in the meantime, have collected just 13 points in the same period, albeit from one fewer game, leaving them with 34 points, 10 behind the Baggies. They should be able to pick up the five or six points they need to steer clear of the drop zone, but the failure to capitalise on their promising start could lead to yet another managerial change come the end of the season.
The Baggies may have lost away just six times in the league this season, but with just three wins on the road, their points tally away from the Hawthorns is two points lower than it was at the same stage last season and a massive seven points behind Albion’s best Premier League season on the road in 2011/12.
This match represents one of the better opportunities to get a fourth away win as Albion haven’t lost a league match at Vicarage Road for more than 20 years, with the Hornets only home victory in this fixture since 1994 coming in the fourth round of the FA Cup in 2003. The Baggies have won five of the nine league meetings in Watford in that period, with the latest being the the top of the table clash in November 2007.
Aidy Boothroyd’s team were six points clear at the top of the Championship having won ten of their thirteen games. Tony Mowbray’s men were in third, some nine points back, but were undaunted and took Watford apart winning 3-0 thanks to goals from Ishmael Miller, Kevin Phillips and Martin Albrechtsen. The Baggies, of course, went on to claim the title six months later whereas Watford lost to Hull City in the play off semi final.
Watford’s last home league win over Albion was in November 1994 when the two men in the dug out were Glenn Roeder and Alan Buckley – Hornets legend Tommy Mooney scored the only goal of the game.
The latest fans favourite at Vicarage Road, Troy Deeney, should be fit enough to start along with Sebastian Prödl – both players started Saturday’s win over Sunderland on the bench. Tony Pulis, meanwhile, could welcome Matt Phillips back to the squad for the first time since the draw with West Ham in mid-February.
Watford managed to halt a run of four games without a win with the 1-0 win over the Black Cats, but their form remains patchy and Albion will be looking to get all three points, something I think they will achieve.
All competitions; most recent game on the right
3 Dec 2016 – Premier League
West Brom 3 (Evans, Brunt, Phillips)
Watford 1 (Kabasele)
Last meeting at Watford
15 Aug 2015 – Premier League
West Brom 0
Last win at Watford
3 Nov 2007 – League Championship
West Brom 3 (Miller, Phillips, Albrechtsen)
Albion’s Record against Watford
|Premier League Record|