Watford vs Stoke Predictions: Can the Hornets keep it consistent?

 | December 28 | 

3 mins read

watford vicarage road scaled

Watford and Stoke City have gone from Premier League furniture to Championship also-rans. The top flight feels a long way off for two teams who once walked Wembley Way to face Manchester City in FA Cup Finals.

Watford vs Stoke Betting Tips:

  • Watford To Win To Nil @ 12/5
  • Match Result and Total Goals - Watford and Over 1.5 @ 13/8

Watford and Stoke City have walked a similar path throughout their recent history. Both were second-tier regulars who, despite their modest means, became established Premier League sides. The Hornets and Potters mirrored each other in both reaching FA Cup finals before being beaten by Manchester City. Then they continued on similar paths by both being relegated from the top flight just as they had finally seemed to make it their permanent home. 

Watford yo-yoed back, returning to the Premier League last season before going straight back down. Stoke’s wait for a return to the Premier League is in its sixth year now, with the wet and windy nights that routinely ruined Arsene Wenger’s life a thing of the past.

Despite this fixture having Premier League pedigree on paper, in truth the current league positions of Watford and Stoke tell the story of their recent existence. Watford are 10th, just two points outside the play-off places but seemingly incapable of putting a run together. Stoke are languishing in 18th and entering their third game under new manager Steven Schumacher. The incoming boss won League One with Plymouth Argyle.

Team News:

Watford full back Jamal Lewis will miss two weeks of action according to his club, having left the field with a hamstring complaint against Bristol City on Boxing Day. Manager Valerien Ismael will also be without Jeremy Ngakia, a long-term absentee due to a fractured ankle.

Stoke have goalkeeper Frank Fielding on the sidelines, with no date having been publicly targeted for his return. The shot-stopper has been absent since early November.

Match Odds:

Watford are hard to quantify, having beaten Preston North End 5-1 three games ago and lost 4-1 to Bristol City in their most recent outing. Sandwiched in between was a very creditable 2-1 win over Blackburn Rovers. If you’re backing the best version of Watford to turn up, you can get 21/20 on a home win.

Stoke have improved as the month has gone on. December started with two defeats which then gave way to a trio of draws. Schumacher led his men to a 3-1 win last time out against struggling Birmingham City. If you fancy them to keep their winter trend going, it’s 23/10 for an away win.

The draw is available at 11/5, very good odds considering how adept Stoke have been at delivering deadlocks recently. 

Watford To Win To Nil @ 12/5

Stoke City have the joint-fourth worst scoring record in the league this term. Before the Birmingham victory on Boxing Day, they had not netted more than once and won since October. 

Meanwhile, only five teams have scored more Championship goals than the Hornets this season. While he has taken flack for negative tactics in past jobs, Ismael seems to have the Watford attack working well. It isn’t always enough for a victory, but the form guide suggests it should be here. 

Match Result and Total Goals - Watford and Over 1.5 @ 13/8

It has been 11 games since Watford have recorded a victory by a single goal. This is a team that either scores goals in bunches or is beaten. With Stoke’s form and lowly position suggesting a home triumph is likely, it feels prudent to back Watford to net more than once while securing the three points.

This is a second selection partly influenced by Stoke’s poor defensive record. It will be a big ask to go to Vicarage Road and keep Watford out. History shows that if Ismael’s side scores once, they usually add at least one more goal before all is said and done.

You can check out all of our Football Betting Tips on our Football page.

 

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