Friday night sees, relegation candidates, Cardiff City take on Watford in a match that could prove vital in the home side’s survival.
Cardiff v Watford
Friday 22nd February, 19:45
Cardiff City Stadium
English Premier League
With the home side currently just a point above the relegation zone, it would be in Neil Warnock’s best interests to use a winnable home tie like this to create distance from his side and the chasing pack. Cardiff City go into this match with Watford off the back of two wins against Bournemouth and Southampton, the home side are in unknown territory as the last time they put together three consecutive wins was back in the Championship last season .
Cardiff City will look to utilise their home advantage when they come up against Watford. Cardiff have performed better at home than they have away this season. The home side have picked up five wins and two draws in thirteen home matches whereas away from home they have only managed to pick up two wins in thirteen away games, dropping twenty-nine whilst on their travels.
I would expect goals in this tie. Cardiff City’s stats show they rarely pick up clean sheets at home with only four in their last thirteen home games. As well as this, Cardiff have conceded on average 1.77 goals per home game. This average of goals conceded is higher than their goals scored average which sits at just 1.15. However this average of a goal per game has led to Cardiff City only failing to score in four of their thirteen home games. In Cardiff and Watford’s home and away stats, games involving these two sides have ended with an average of 2.73 goals being scored.
With a win in this game against the Bluebirds, Watford have the chance to move above Wolves and up to 7th in the league. Watford will be full of confidence to do just that, as the Hornets have lost only once in ten matches. Away from home, Watford have performed really well as they have only lost once in nine games. In the period of the nine games, Watford have won five and drew three.
In the league this season, Watford have been able to score thirty-four goals in their league campaign. However they have also conceded thirty-four as they have only picked up seven clean sheets in the twenty-six league games that they have played. Although Watford have only failed to score on seven occasions in twenty-six matches, their average goals conceded sits at 1.31 goals per game. This trend continues into their away form as they have conceded on average 1.27 goals per game away from home.
Through losing so many goals, Watford have ended up dropping seventeen points when on their travels. As a result of conceding this volume of away goals, Watford’s both teams to score record is at 54% for their thirteen away games played. Only three of their thirteen away matches have ended with Watford picking up a clean sheet.
Cardiff will be without, English centre-back, Sean Morrison as he has been ruled out for the Watford with an injury. The Cardiff captain has missed his last four league games due to this injury. Watford will likely be without Isaac Success due to a thigh injury which has ruled him out of Watford’s last three matches. Also Roberto Pereyra has missed Watford’s last three games due to a thigh injury.
Jose Holebas also misses out due to suspension. The Greek defender has accumulated too many yellow cards which has landed him with a one match ban.
The away side go into this match as favourite over their relegation-threatened opponents. Watford have been given a price of 13/10 to come away with a win on Friday night. Cardiff have odds of 2/1 to pull off an upset. I would agree with the bookies, as I feel Watford have shown in their away form that they are capable of picking up a win away from home. To add insurance to your bet, you should go with a Watford to win and draw bet which gets a price of 1/3, the bet would be more suited to an accumulator type bet.
I expect goals in this game from both sides. For both teams to score in the match, the bookies will give you a price of 4/5. For less risk it would be more worthwhile to explore the goals market. For over 2.5 goals in the game you can get odds of 19/20. To add more value, it would be worth going with a Watford and over 1.5 goals which has odds of 2/1 to come in.
Watford to win and over 1.5 goals (2/1)
Both teams to score (4/5)