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First team

Match pack: What to expect from Watford

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth will begin 2019 with a home game against rivals Watford at Vitality Stadium.

AFC Bournemouth v Watford
Vitality Stadium
Wednesday 2nd January
7.45pm kick off
Premier League

Sitting in ninth place in the Premier League, Watford have had a similar season to the Cherries so far.

They started the season well before tailing off in recent weeks, having won two of their last ten Premier League fixtures.

The Hornets picked up nine points from their last ten Premier League matches (P10 W2 D3 L5), which is ten points fewer than the previous ten games (P10 W6 D1 L3 - 19 points).

But they’ll be heading into the game looking for revenge on the Cherries who won 4-0 at Vicarage Road earlier this season in one of Eddie Howe’s side’s finest displays of the campaign.

Last time out

Watford 1-1 Newcastle United

The Hornets had plenty of the ball but did find creating chances difficult against a solid Magpies backline - and they were punished when Salomon Rondon headed in in the first half.

The dominance on the ball paid off when Abdoulaye Docoure scored a late equaliser.

But manager Javi Gracia had to defend his team selection after the game, as he made six changes to the side with many key players - including skipper Troy Deeney - rested for the game.

The point moved Watford up to ninth with 28 points from 20 games.

2018/19 top scorer

Roberto Pereyra (six goals)

The manager

Javi Gracia took the Watford job midway through the 2017/18 season replacing Marco Silva and has done a successful job under the radar in the Premier League.

A defensive midfielder as a player, Gracia has mixed the Hornets into a blend of defensive steel but attacking flair.

The Spaniard was relatively unknown since stepping into English football but has made his name – and in the process became the first Hornets manager under the current owners to be handed a new contract.

Key stats – Wide men could prosper

After four goal involvements in his first 15 Premier League appearances, David Brooks has been involved in three in his past three games.

Gerard Deulofeu has had a hand in four goals in his last four Premier League games (two goals, two assists), that’s as many goal involvements as in his previous 36 games combined.

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