The Premier League’s tense relegation battle will again take centre-stage on Friday afternoon as West Ham and Watford do battle in East London.
With this being the only match today, it promises to be one with many eyes on it. The pressure and desperation on both sides should be apparent. Neither group wants to go down to the Championship, and with so many dollars at stake during such an uncertain time, bank on both of these clubs treating this like a Cup-final match! Intensity will be noticed.
The current situation has both Watford and West Ham safe from the drop, but both Aston Villa and Bournemouth sit just three points behind them, with two matches to play. The Hammers and Hornets also hold key goal-differential targets, but both clubs know that a win here assures safety into next season.
Watford enter under the guidance of their third manager this campaign. It’s been a tumultuous season for the Hornets. They’ve won two straight contests though, and know they can’t take their foot off the pedal. With Man City and Arsenal still to play, getting a positive result could be crucial to their survival.
For West Ham, they enter sitting the most comfortable from all the potentially relegated sides, as their goal differential is much better compared to other clubs. They throttled Norwich City last time out, a sign that their offense is once again rounding into form as bodies begin returning to the club.
With all that is on the line, this West Ham/Watford matchup should provide a ton of excitement and energy. As always, keep reading on beneath the posted odds for further team analysis, news, and a betting prediction. Enjoy the Hammers vs. Hornets on Friday afternoon!
West Ham vs. Watford Betting Odds:
West Ham (+144)
Over 2.5 (+120)
Under 2.5 (-140)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
West Ham vs. Watford Pick:
With a fully fit lineup and no fresh injury issues, it seems Dayid Moyes’ West Ham United side are catching their stride just in time for the season to end. They looked excellent last time out vs. Norwich, and no changes to the starting group are expected.
They were solid in defense, for a change – while their offense looked elite. Outright striker Michail Antonio was simply dominant, scoring a hat-trick in comfortable fashion. In the midfield, expect Declan Rice to play a big role in snuffing out Watford’s attacks and winning balls back. The youngster has been crucial for the Hammers in recent weeks, and has a bright future ahead of him.
For Watford, they’re a bit more undermanned by skipper Troy Deeney continues to lead the Hornets to glory. Last time out it was his two penalties which gave Watford the full three points, and the offense will need another stellar outing against an improving West Ham defensive group. The Hornets have good skill and speed going forward, but a weakness continues to be their back-line and goalkeeping. Ben Foster has not been good enough, and the Hornets’ back-four doesn’t inspire confidence. Against an in-form West Ham side, that could be trouble.
Although this game arguably is slightly more important to Watford, with tougher matches looming – West Ham enter the better side and more in-form group. Their expected goal metrics have really been solid since the restart, and with a full complement of players David Moyes can start to put out productive lineups. And while there has been talk that a draw would suit both sides, don’t expect that to materialize.
Pick: West Ham 2-1