Watford look to finish in the top half of the table when they welcome West Ham to Vicarage Road in the Premier League on Sunday.
The Hornets are reaching the end of a good season and would look towards closing it out on a high. Javi Gracia’s side currently sit at 10th place, with 50 points from 37 games. They are ahead of their visitors by one point while Leicester City are ahead of them with a single point as well.
A win or a draw would see Watford finish in 10th place at the minimum while a loss will result in West Ham taking their place in the top half of the table. Further, a Watford win coupled with a Leicester loss could see them finish 9th in the table.
This match-up will also provide Gracia with a final chance to assess his squad before they face Manchester City in the FA Cup final. Beating Pep Guardiola’s side will not only fetch Watford a trophy but also secure qualification into next season’s Europa League.
While the stakes are relatively lower for West Ham, a top-half finish is a good incentive for Manuel Pellegrini’s side to finish the season on a high. The Hammers had a mixed season, blowing hot and cold for its entirety.
They are currently in 11th place, with 49 points from 37 games. A win here coupled with a Leicester loss could see them finish 9th while a loss coupled with a Crystal Palace win could see the Hammers drop down to the 12th place.
Further, they are coming into the game on the back of a morale-boosting 3-0 win over Southampton. Thus, Pellegrini’s men will look to go for the win at Vicarage Road and spoil Watford’s preparations for the FA Cup final.
Injuries and Suspensions
In terms of team news, midfielder Etienne Capoue is expected to be a fit for the match, providing a massive boost for Gracia before the big game next weekend. Defender Miguel Britos is expected to make it while Domingos Quina and Sebastian Prodl are out of the last league of the season.
Meanwhile, Pellegrini has several injury concerns on his plate. Forwards Andriy Yarmolenko and Andy Carroll, and center-back Winston Reid are long-term absentees while left-back Aaron Cresswell and midfielder Samir Nasri are in line for a return to the matchday squad.
Robert Snodgrass is suspended due to a doping violation while Felipe Anderson and Declan Rice are expected to shake off illness and start the game.
Watford vs West Ham Prediction
The last three meetings between the sides have all ended 2-0, with Watford winning two to West Ham’s one. Further, the Hornets have won the reverse fixture as well as the previous meeting on the ground.
However, Gracia’s side are winless in their last three games while the Hammers are unbeaten in their previous three matches. Nevertheless, the hosts will take confidence from the poor away record of their visitors, who have failed to score in 6 of their last nine away games.
Thus, the game is evenly poised and could end in a draw or a 1-0 win for Watford as they look to find momentum before the FA Cup final. Expect the total goals scored in the game be Under 2.5.
Watford Predicted XI: Foster; Kiko Femenia, Cathcart, Mariappa, Holebas; Doucoure, Capoue; Hughes, Pereyra; Deeney, Deulofeu
West Ham Predicted XI: Fabianski; Fredericks, Balbuena, Diop, Masuaku; Noble, Rice; Antonio, Lanzini, Felipe Anderson; Arnautovic
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