Watford vs Preston Prediction: Lilywhites to bounce back from Blues failure

 | April 05 | 

4 mins read

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Preston North End's powers of recovery will be tested this Saturday as they travel to Vicarage Road to face Watford (KO, 15:00), with the Lilywhites looking for a win to keep up their pursuit of a play-off spot. Ryan Lowe's side are currently eighth in the Championship, five points behind sixth-placed Norwich City who have played a game more, but Monday's defeat at Birmingham City was a real dagger to the heart.

Below is our Watford vs Preston prediction, complete with all the latest team news and match odds as PNE face the mid-table Hornets who have nothing but pride to play for.  

Watford vs Preston Betting Tips

  • Under 1.5 goals @ 2/1
  • Preston to win @ 9/4

Team News

Giorgi Chakvetadze was absent from the matchday squad through illness on Monday as Watford drew 2-2 at West Bromwich Albion, but the Georgian is expected to return this weekend.

Mileta Rajovic could earn a rare start after he bagged his 10th Championship goal of the campaign as a substitute at The Hawthorns, and he could be joined in the starting XI by Yaser Asprilla, who played an integral role in the build-up to the Danish forward's strike.

Preston could make a few changes after they were humbled by lowly Birmingham on Easter Monday. Liam Millar could come back into the XI while captain Alan Browne is a certainty to start if he recovers from the illness that forced him to miss the trip to the Midlands.

Match Odds

Watford are 11/10 - or a 47.6% chance - to record their first league win at Vicarage Road since November 28, while Preston are 9/4 - or a 30.8% chance - to return to winning ways on the road, with defeat at St. Andrew's @ Knighthead Park arriving after three-straight away victories.

The draw can be backed at 21/10, both teams to score is 4/5 and over 2.5 goals is EVS.

Under 1.5 goals @ 2/1

The reverse fixture really broke the mould for this head-to-head, with a 5-1 win for Watford at Deepdale in December following a couple of goalless draws in the 2022/23 campaign.

PNE were in the midst of a really difficult period when they were battered by Watford, with that defeat one of six in a nine-game spell.

However, their form has been transformed since January 13, when they started their ascent up the table with a 2-0 win over Bristol City. Before Monday, they had lost just two of their last 12, keeping five clean sheets in the process.

Two of their last three matches, meanwhile, have finished 1-0 - one in their favour at Plymouth Argyle on March 16, and their loss to Birmingham earlier this week.

I can see another tight affair at Vicarage Road on Saturday, with 11 of Watford's 40 Championship games this term seeing under 1.5 goals - only seven clubs have witnessed it on more occasions.

Watford fans have had a bit more to shout about in recent weeks under interim boss Tom Cleverley, who has overseen a couple of 2-2 draws against high-level opposition, Leeds United and West Brom.

However, they can probably expect less space to operate against a PNE side who have shut out the opposition in four of their last six.

Preston to win @ 9/4

Cleverley has injected a bit of life into the Hornets since taking over from Valerien Ismael after a 2-1 defeat to Coventry City on March 9. The former England international oversaw a 1-0 victory at Birmingham in his first game in charge before taking points off Leeds and West Brom.

However, with Watford only winning once in their last 12 at Vicarage Road - a late 2-1 victory over National League outfit Chesterfield in the FA Cup third-round - and having little to play for but pride in their final six matches, coupled with Preston requiring points in the play-off chase, the odds of a win for the visitors is just too good to turn down.

PNE still have to play four of the current top six in their last six games, so they really need to take maximum points from their next two - Watford and Huddersfield Town (H) - to give themselves an opportunity of making the play-offs heading into May.

I think that loss on Monday was an outlier, and the Lilywhites will return to the form that saw them record successive away wins to nil at Cardiff City, Coventry and Plymouth Argyle.

Check out the rest of our Football Betting Tips here.

 

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