Apr 5, 2014 at 3pm UK at ​Vicarage Road
Watford
1-1
Burnley
FT(HT: 1-0)
Arfield (86')

Preview: Watford vs. Burnley

Burnley manager Sean Dyche smiles during his team's match against QPR on October 26, 2013
© Getty Images
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Watford and Burnley at Vicarage Road.

Burnley's long unbeaten run came to an end at the hands of leaders Leicester City last weekend, and they will be keen to get straight back to winning ways when they face Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

The Foxes handed Sean Dyche's side their first defeat in 17 Championship matches to all but end any hopes the Clarets had of challenging for the title, with seven points now separating the two teams.

However, Burnley's slip-up was not capitalised on by Queens Park Rangers, leaving them nine points clear of the Hoops and almost guaranteed automatic promotion to the Premier League.

Dyche will want to get their promotion confirmed as quickly as possible, however, and ensuring that the defeat to Leicester was a blip rather than the beginning of a dip in form will be crucial to that.

Doing so will be more difficult than usual, however, due to the season-ending injury suffered by Sam Vokes, who joins strike partner Danny Ings on the sidelines.

The Clarets have alternated between draws and victories on the road in recent weeks, but no team has managed to beat them away from home in the league since the turn of the year, with their last defeat coming on Boxing Day.

In addition to the absence of their devastating duo up front, Burnley will also be without Kieran Trippier and Dean Marney, while Ashley Barnes could lead the line alone.

For Watford, the remaining seven games are very much a case of looking towards next season and gearing themselves up for a playoff charge in Giuseppe Sannino's first full season at the helm.

Any flickering embers of playoff hopes were kept alive with an impressive 4-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday last weekend, leaving them eight points behind the top six with a game in hand over the teams above them.

Their goal difference is also in their favour if they can string a run of victories together at the end of the season, but there are still a number of teams better placed than them and it would take an unlikely set of results for them to make a late push for the playoffs.

They would certainly need to show more consistency than they have in recent weeks, with three wins, three defeats and two draws in their last eight matches.

The Hornets have been in superb form at home, however, going seven matches without defeat and only seeing their six-game winning streak without conceding come to an end last Tuesday in a 3-3 draw with Blackburn Rovers.

Watford have no new injury concerns to worry about, so Sannino could opt to name an unchanged side to the one that beat Sheffield Wednesday so comfortably.

Recent form

Watford: WLWLDW

Burnley: WDWWWL

Possible starting lineups

Watford: Almunia; Doyley, Angella, Ekstrand; Anya, McGugan, Battochio, Tozser, Pudil; Deeney, Ranegie

Burnley: Heaton; Baird, Shackell, Duff, Mee; Jones, Arfield; Kightly, Wallace, Stanislas; Barnes

Sports Mole says: 2-2

Leicester's Chris Wood is congratulated by teammates after scoring the opening goal against Watford on November 2, 2013
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