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Preview: Watford vs. Swansea City

Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash at Vicarage Road between Watford and Swansea City.

Watford play host to Swansea City on Saturday afternoon as they continue to look for their first victory since securing promotion back to the Premier League.

In stark contrast to the Hornets, Swansea are one of the form teams in the division, putting together a five-match unbeaten run in all competitions.


Watford

Watford's Spanish manager Quique Sanchez Flores looks on during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Watford at The Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England on August 29, 2015© Getty Images

After eight seasons in the Championship, Watford impressed many people with their start to this campaign when they secured draws with both Everton and Southampton during their opening three games.

However, a month has passed without the Hornets recording a win - a run of five matches in all competitions - and September is likely to be an important month for Quique Flores.

The Spaniard has assembled an excellent squad, but football is a results business and he needs to get his first victory on the board sooner rather than later or his new side may find themselves struggling to remain above water at the bottom of the table.

Star striker and club captain Troy Deeney also needs a goal. The 27-year-old has been praised for his leadership as a skipper and in attack, but he needs to weigh in with a direct contribution in the final third to help a team that are struggling to find the back of the net.

Watford's defence deserve plenty of credit, with the only goals to be conceded in the last three games coming against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, but focus is understandably at the other end of the pitch, with the club going 367 minutes without a goal in all competitions.

Recent form: DDDL
Recent form (all competitions): DDDLL


Swansea City

Swansea boss Garry Monk shouts to his team as they take on Newcastle on August 15, 2015© Getty Images

Despite some shrewd business in the summer, Swansea are still only regarded as a team who can realistically hope for a top-eight finish at best, but so far, they have suggested that they have loftier ambitions.

It is still early days, but with an unbeaten record still intact and four points being registered in games against Chelsea and Manchester United, boss Garry Monk has every reason to be optimistic for the rest of the year.

Forward Bafetimbi Gomis has been a revelation this season, with goals coming in each of his four appearances, while Andre Ayew is proving to be one the signings of the summer after joining from Marseille.

Consistency will ultimately be the key, but if they can keep their key players fit, Swansea are a match for most teams in the top flight, which is backed up by the club gaining 64 points from their last 42 games in the Premier League.

However, the Welsh club will have to cope with expectations being raised in light of their impressive start, and it is games such as the one at Vicarage Road where anything other than maximum points would be considered a disappointment.

Recent form: DWDW
Recent form (all competitions): DWDWW


Team News

Swansea player Jefferson Montero in action during the Capital One Cup Third Round match between Swansea City and Everton at Liberty Stadium on September 23, 2014© Getty Images

Swansea boss Monk will be able to recall winger Jefferson Montero for the trip to Watford.

The Ecuadorian international missed out against Manchester United with a hamstring problem, but Monk has revealed that his withdrawal was precautionary and he will be involved on Saturday afternoon.

As for Watford, two of their recent signings - Victor Ibarbo and Obbi Oulare - will not make their first appearance this weekend.

Ibarbo is still awaiting international clearance after his loan move from Roma, while Flores has revealed that Oulare, who has joined from Club Brugge, is not fully fit.

However, midfielder Adlene Guedioura could feature after signing from Crystal Palace.

Watford possible starting lineup:
Gomes; Nyom, Prodl, Cathcart, Holebas; Behrami, Capoue; Jurado, Ighalo, Abdi; Deeney

Swansea City possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Naughton, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor; Cork, Shelvey, Sigurdsson, Ayew, Montero; Gomis


Head To Head

In 42 previous meetings between the two sides, Swansea have prevailed on 20 occasions, with Watford registering victory 13 times.

The Welsh outfit are unbeaten in their last four games against the Hornets, while they have also won their last two fixtures at Vicarage Road.

The most recent match between the two teams came in March 2011, with Stephen Dobbie and Danny Graham netting the goals in a 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium.


Video Preview

Hit play below to see what the Sports Mole Sofa had to say about this encounter:



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We say: Watford 0-2 Swansea City

Given that Watford are yet to concede at Vicarage Road this season, it is difficult to back against them picking up a result against Swansea with any degree of certainty, but their Welsh opponents are flying right now and if they can continue the form that they produced before the international break, they should possess enough quality to run out comfortable winners on Saturday afternoon.


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Who will win Saturday's clash between Watford and Swansea?

Watford
Draw
Swansea
Watford
20.6%
Draw
17.3%
Swansea
62.1%
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Adlene Guedioura of Watford FC holds off George Friend of Middlesbrough FC during the Sky Bet Championship match between Watford and Middlesbrough at Vicarage Road on April 6, 2015
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