West Ham vs. Watford Predictions: Emmanuel Dennis to take centre stage on Tuesday
Following a weekend of FA Cup action, domestic football returns this week including a bumper round of midweek Premier League fixtures. I have cast an eye over Watford’s trip to West Ham.
West Ham vs Watford Tips:
The last six clashes between these sides have yielded 24 goals- that’s four per game- with both teams scoring in all of the last four matches. However, with Roy Hodgson recently taking charge at Watford, this meeting may be the one to buck the goals galore trend. The veteran is an infamously pragmatic supremo, best illustrated by his side's dogged performance at Turf Moor, where the Hornets secured a point as neither side broke the deadlock. That being said, Watford had five shots on target and generated an xG just 0.03 shy of one.
Hogdson has top goalscorer Emmanuel Dennis back available. The Hornets' Nigerian talisman returns following his suspension and should slot straight back into the side on the right hand side of a front three.
As for the hosts, David Moyes’ shuffled his deck at the weekend as his side took on Kidderminster Harriers of the sixth tier in the FA Cup. It was a lacklustre first half performance though and the Hammers found themselves a goal down at the break, which forced Moyes' hand. Declan Rice and Craig Dawson came on at halftime and it was not until the dying seconds of the game that the former found the net to take the tie to extra time. With none of the fringe players impressing, expect the usual suspects here with Michael Antonio returning to lead the line.
West Ham vs Watford Odds
Bet365’s price of 9/2 for Emmanuel Dennis to find the net at the London Stadium looks too big, especially considering that the same bet is only 2/1 with Boylesports.
With eight goals and five assists this campaign, he tops his sides charts in both departments, averaging 0.80 G+A per 90, and has directly contributed to over half (56%) of Watford’s league goals.
The visitor's new boss is not exactly renowned for free flowing, attacking football, quite the opposite actually. Since these sides last met though, the Hammers have only kept two clean sheets and those came against Norwich and Leeds in the FA Cup. Over that six game period, WHU shipped seven goals, including two at Selhurst Park, three at home to Leeds and one when they faced National League North side Kidderminster at the weekend in the FA Cup.
Therefore, even with a pragmatic approach, Watford should get chances and I expect Dennis will be involved in some capacity if they do get on the scoresheet.
Dennis not only tops his sides charts for goals and assists, but he has the worst disciplinary record of anyone at Vicarage Road. He has racked up 8Y and 1R cards this season, which is no surprise considering he commits an average of 2.2 fouls per game.
Granted, it is a small sample size, but during his first season in the English top flight, based on his cards per 90 averaged (0.43), any price of over 6/4 for a card would represent value here. So, even with a particularly poor referee for cards taking charge and some uncertainty as to where Hodgson will play Dennis, I think his price for a card is irresistible.
If you fancy something a bit chunkier, you can combine the two selections at 18/1 with Betfair. This is a bet that has landed in two of his 18 Premier League starts this season and nine times of the course of his career.
Best of luck if you are backing any of these selections and please remember to gamble responsibly.
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