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Preview: Burnley vs. Watford - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Premier League clash between Burnley and Watford, including team news and predicted lineups.

Watford travel to Burnley on Thursday evening looking to build on their dramatic draw with Leicester City and pull further clear of the relegation zone.

The Hornets picked up a decent point on their return to action at the weekend, whereas Burnley were thrashed 5-0 against Manchester City as their European prospects were further derailed.

Match preview

Watford's Craig Dawson celebrates scoring against Leicester on June 20, 2020© Reuters

Watford had Craig Dawson's acrobatic strike in added time to thank for their 1-1 draw with Leicester, the defender finding the net three minutes after Ben Chilwell opened the scoring with an equally as impressive goal.

Boss Nigel Pearson described the result as "a really good point" for his side in their quest to dodge the drop, with the gap on the bottom three now standing at one point with eight games to play.

The Hornets could do with a few more wins in those remaining fixtures, having picked up maximum points only once in their last eight matches.

For those that need reminding after the three-month hiatus, that solitary victory since mid-January came against Liverpool in one of the Premier League's biggest ever shocks.

The six points earned in their last eight matches is as many as they collected from their first two outings of 2020, and there is still plenty of work to be done if Watford are to stay afloat.

Burnley skipper Ben Mee in action on June 22, 2020© Reuters

While Watford can be pleased with the result in their first game back, there were few positives - if any - for Burnley in their heavy loss at the Etihad Stadium.

The scoreline was not the biggest talking point to come out of Monday's match, though.

A plane carrying a banner reading "White Lives Matter Burnley" flew over the ground shortly after kickoff and dominated the headlines, leading to an impassioned speech from Burnley skipper Ben Mee at full time.

Sean Dyche will be hoping that all the talking is done on the field on Thursday, and this game presents the Clarets with a real chance of picking up a first win in four games.

The Lancashire outfit have slipped into the bottom half during that winless run, which does include a creditable draw with Tottenham Hotspur, and are now five points off seventh.

Burnley have a good recent record against Thursday's opponents, too, having won four of their seven Premier League encounters, including a 3-0 triumph earlier this season.

Burnley's Premier League form: DWWDDL

Watford's Premier League form: LDLWLD

Team News

Isaac Success in action for Watford on December 4, 2018© Reuters

Burnley remain without Ashley Barnes, Ben Gibson and Robbie Brady for the visit of Watford.

Dyche is also sweating on the fitness of Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Chris Wood, who sat out the loss to City on Monday.

The Clarets named an inexperienced bench last time out due to a lack of squad depth, not helped by a number of players - Jeff Hendrick and Phil Bardsley among them - failing to agree short-term contract extensions.

Watford will make the trip to Turf Moor without injured trio Gerard Deulofeu, Daryl Janmaat and Isaac Success.

Pearson may well opt to field the same XI that started against Leicester given the five-day break between matches, which would mean six-goal striker Troy Deeney again leading the line.

However, the Hornets have more depth to their squad than Burnley and can recall the likes of Tom Cleverley, Danny Welbeck and Jose Holebas to the starting lineup should they wish.

Burnley possible starting lineup:
Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Brownhill, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Vydra, Rodriguez

Watford possible starting lineup:
Foster; Femenia, Kabasele, Dawson, Masina; Capoue, Hughes; Sarr, Doucoure, Pereyra; Deeney

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We say: Burnley 1-2 Watford

Watford have won only one of their 20 midweek Premier League away games. However, Hornets boss Pearson has won each of his last three away league meetings with Burnley and we are predicting an upset of sorts at Turf Moor on Thursday.

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Watford's Ismaila Sarr celebrates scoring their first goal on February 29, 2020
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