Watford boss Roy Hodgson says his side needs to start turning their improved performances into points if they are to avoid relegation as they prepare to face Brentford on Saturday (Watford 19/10, Draw 23/10, Brentford 7/5 – Match Betting).
Following last weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Leeds United, the Hornets are now six points from safety in 19th, and they have also played a game more than both Everton and Burnley, who sit directly above them in the table.
Hodgson has never shied away from the fact that his team are in a relegation dogfight, but he believes his players are close to turning a corner.
He told the Watford Observer: “I think the belief is there. The performances, even when we have lost, have not been so bad that we have had no chance of winning those games.
“As a result, they realise if they continue to play in the same vein as they are playing, the chances to win will occur.
“The opportunity exists for us, and we are fully aware that unless we start getting three points from some of these games, we are going to slip further behind the teams we are chasing.”
Hodgson will be without Cucho Hernandez, Samuel Kalu, William Troost-Ekong and Francisco Sierralta, while Brentford will be boosted by returning duo Pontus Jansson and Josh Dasilva.
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Fellow strugglers Norwich City are also in desperate need of three points, and they face Manchester United at Old Trafford at 15:00 (Manchester United 3/10, Draw 9/2, Norwich 17/2 – Match Betting).
The Red Devils are lacking confidence at present, and Norwich may fancy their chances of an upset with Ralf Rangnick unable to call upon the services of Fred, Luke Shaw, Raphael Varane, Scott McTominay and Edinson Cavani.
However, the Canaries will be without Brandon Williams as he is ineligible to face his parent club.
Elsewhere at 15:00, Arsenal will hope to get their top-four push back on track when they take on Southampton at St Mary’s (Southampton 13/5, Draw 5/2, Arsenal EVS – Match Betting).
Thomas Partey, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Kieran Tierney are all likely to miss out for the Gunners, while Saints will welcome back Armando Broja.
Arsenal’s top-four hopes could have been dented before a ball is kicked, with fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur welcoming Brighton to north London at 12:30 (Tottenham 1/2, Draw 16/5, Brighton 11/2 – Match Betting).
Spurs have lost Matt Doherty for the season due to a knee injury, while Brighton defender Adam Webster is hoping to start a match for the first time in two months.
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