Two sides that done enough to ensure safety with plenty of time to spare meet in the West Midlands on Saturday as West Bromwich Albion aim to end a run of three games without a win by getting the better of Watford.
In the build up to West Brom’s game at Manchester City last time out, the feeling was that they would likely sit back for the majority of the game and defend in numbers, with attacks of their own few and far between. But a glance at their starting line-up helped to dispprove those assumptions, which were blown out of the water by a very positive showing which was arguably worthy of taking something from the game. As it was, fine margins saw them forced to head home with nothing to show for their efforts.
Darren Fletcher was the maestro in midfield as he was the heart of several impressive passing moves, and with the side as a whole playing with a degree of freedom, it allowed the Scot to unleash something close to his full repertoire. That bodes well for the final weeks of the season, which Head Coach Tony Pulis will be determined not to be allowed to fizzle out. Continue to perform like they did at Man City, and they should end in positive fashion.
After a run of four successive league defeats, Watford gained a point at home to Everton in a game where they showed a lot of the resilience and strength which has seen them have such a strong campaign overall. They must have felt like it was not going to be their day when a rare mistake from the usually solid Miguel Britos led to them falling behind on the stroke of half-time, but to their credit responded in the best possible way by drawing level moments later.
The loss of the impressive form they showed in the first half of the season is down to a number of factors, most notably the considerable decrease in the volume of goals being scored by the front two, but at present it appears that the upcoming FA Cup semi-final with Crystal Palace at Wembley is on the players’ minds. Manager Quique Flores has admitted that it is something that needs addressing, and victory here would be the perfect confidence boost ahead of that monumental clash.
James Morrison is definitely out for West Brom, who also have doubts over Callum McManaman and Alex Pritchard. However, Salomon Rondon has recovered from a back injury.
Watford have Etienne Capoue available as he has shaken off the injury that forced him off against Everton. Flores could make changes ahead of the FA Cup semi-final.