MX23RW : Wednesday, October 20 01:14:18| >> :120:59843:59843:
Sep 18, 2021 at 3pm UK at Carrow Road
NorwichNorwich City
Pukki (35')
Williams (90+5')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Dennis (17'), Sarr (63', 80')
Cathcart (37')

Preview: Norwich City vs. Watford - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Norwich City and Watford, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two newly-promoted sides enduring difficult starts to life back in the big time prepare to renew hostilities on Saturday, as Norwich City welcome Watford to Carrow Road in gameweek five of the 2021-22 Premier League season.

The Canaries went down 1-0 to Arsenal last weekend, whereas Xisco Munoz's side fell to a 2-0 loss against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Match preview

Norwich City manager Daniel Farke looks dejected after the match on September 11, 2021© Reuters

A significant summer outlay may have led to some initial optimism within the ranks at Carrow Road, with the arrivals of Josh Sargent, Milot Rashica, Billy Gilmour and Pierre Lees Melou representing impressive coups for Daniel Farke's side following their promotion.

However, Norwich are re-learning the unforgiving nature of the Premier League the hard way and suffered their fourth defeat on the bounce last weekend, as Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted the only goal of the game at the Emirates.

Having conceded 30 shots to the Gunners - 17 of which were on target - Norwich could and probably should have lost by more on the day, but Arsenal's lack of ruthlessness saw them keep the scoreline respectable as they remain bottom of the pile.

The Canaries are now the only team in the division yet to register a point this season, while Newcastle United (12) are the only team to ship more goals than Norwich (11) so far, and Teemu Pukki's penalty against Leicester City represents their only strike at the correct end of the pitch.

The schedule does not get any kinder for Norwich before the end of the month, as Farke's side must face Liverpool in the EFL Cup before taking on high-flying Everton in the league next weekend, and they welcome Watford to Carrow Road aiming to avoid a 15th successive defeat in the Premier League.

Watford manager Xisco Munoz on September 11, 2021© Reuters

Watford have failed to keep the momentum going from their thrilling opening-day victory over Aston Villa, with Xisco witnessing his side suffer three defeats in succession to Brighton & Hove Albion, Tottenham Hotspur and Wolves without scoring a single goal.

Last time out against the Molineux outfit, Francisco Sierralta's own goal broke Watford's resilience after 74 minutes before Hwang Hee-chan came off the bench to double Wolves' lead in the dying embers, as the Hornets' 11-game winning run at home in all competitions came to a bitter end.

Watford had previously only suffered one defeat at Vicarage Road in 2021 before the Hornets' sting lost its potency against Wolves, and one win from their opening four games sees them occupy 15th spot in the table - above Arsenal for the time being.

Munoz's side can also look ahead to fixtures with Newcastle United and Leeds United in the next couple of weeks - two sides currently without a win in the Premier League season - but they travel to Carrow Road having won just one of their last six away from home.

However, that win did come against Norwich in April's Championship clash - with Dan Gosling scoring the only goal of the game in that one - and the Canaries have suffered four consecutive defeats in league action against Watford.

Norwich City Premier League form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Norwich City form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Watford Premier League form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L

Watford form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Team News

Watford's Emmanuel Dennis celebrates scoring on his debut against Aston Villa on August 14, 2021© Reuters

Norwich will hope to welcome Sargent back to the fold following his late return from international duty with the USA and complaints of hamstring trouble, while Dimitrios Giannoulis has recovered from a neck injury.

Przemyslaw Placheta remains a doubt following COVID-19 infection, while Sam Byram and Christoph Zimmermann remain sidelined and Bali Mumba is recovering from a dislocated knee.

Milot Rashica, Todd Cantwell and Billy Gilmour will all hope to earn recalls to the first XI after being benched at the Emirates, while Ozan Kabak will hope to be handed an opportunity in defence soon.

There were also doubts over midfielder Lees Melou after the former Nice man came down with a bout of flu, but he is expected to be fine for the weekend.

Meanwhile, Watford have confirmed that Joao Pedro will not be fit in time for this game, but Ben Foster and Kiko Femenia both have chances of being involved, while Dan Gosling (illness) is uncertain.

Josh King lasted just 53 minutes against Wolves before being hooked for Cucho Hernandez, who will hope to earn his first Premier League start of the season here, while Imran Louza and Tom Cleverley will also push for starting places.

Jeremy Ngakia was brought in to try to quell the pace and power of Adama Traore against Wolves, but Craig Cathcart could now return at right-back.

Norwich City possible starting lineup:
Krul; Aarons, Hanley, Omobamidele, Williams; Gilmour, Lees Melou, McLean; Rashica, Pukki, Cantwell

Watford possible starting lineup:
Bachmann; Cathcart, Troost-Ekong, Sierralta, Rose; Louza, Etebo, Sissoko; Sarr, Hernandez, Dennis

SM words green background

We say: Norwich City 2-2 Watford

Watford can take inspiration from their strong recent record against the Canaries, who had their moments against Arsenal but were arguably fortunate to only lose 1-0.

Both managers will feel that this game represents the perfect opportunity to put a crucial win on the board, so an entertaining affair could be in store, but we expect a share of the spoils in the end.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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Watford's Danny Rose pictured on July 27, 2021
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