SO AFTER weeks of starting previews by reeling off statistics about our impressive winning streak, it`s a total antithesis once more this week as we head to Burnley, winless in four and with only one point from 12 claimed.
The Clarets on the other hand, now under the stewardship of former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, have staged something of a mini-revivial in their quest for re-promotion to the Premier League. Since taking up the post at Turf Moor, Howe has overseen three wins and just one defeat in his first five games with the Lancashire outfit.
Appointed Bournemouth manager on January 1 2009, Howe spent just over two years with the south coast outfit, leaving on January 16 this year having kept the club up despite a points deduction in his first season before winning promotion and eventually leaving the Cherries second in League One and well-placed for back-to-back promotions. His current employers however remain 10th, eight points away from the magic marker of sixth place along with the ‘Orns.
Watford Team News: Having come off with a calf problem against Nottingham Forest on Saturday Lloyd Doyley is a doubt having undergone a scan on the offending calf muscle in midweek.
With no senior back-up at left back Lee Hodson may find himself shifted to left-back, Mariappa to right-back and Dale Bennett brought back in to partner Martin Taylor.
Winger Don Cowie has an `outside chance` of being fit in time for the game according to Malky Mackay, leaving the gaffer with a choice between loanees Townsend an Drinkwater for the final midfield berth.
Likely Line-up: Loach; Mariappa, Bennett, Taylor, Hodson; Eustace (c); Buckley, McGinn, Townsend; Sordell and Graham.
Home Form: Watford 3-0 Derby County, Watford 0-1 Brighton & H.A (FA Cup 4th Round), Watford 1-1 Crystal Palace.
Head2Head Form: Burnley 2-2 Watford (07/08), Burnley 3-2 Watford, Watford 3-0 Burnley (08/09) and Burnley 2-2 Watford (10/11)
Burnley Team News: Striker Martin Paterson could be out once more with a recurrence of a thigh injury which may sideline the former Scunthorpe and Stoke forward until the end of the present campaign. In his absence Jay Rodriguez and new-boy Charlie Austin have impressed.
Another forward, Steven Thompson is seeing a specialist regarding a niggling groin issue. New boy Marvin Bartley will likely have to wait for his full debut after being signed by Howe from former club Bournemouth.
Line-up Vs. Norwich City: Grant; Mears, Carlisle, Duff, Fox; Eagles, Marney, Cork, Wallace; Rodriguez and Austin.
Away Form: Scunthorpe United 0-0 Burnley, Portsmouth 1-2 Burnley and Doncaster 1-0 Burnley.
Ex-Hornets: Chris Eagles had two loans spells with the Watford in 2006 and 2004 where the tricky winger was best remembered for his halfway line lob at Brighton in the second spell to secure a 1-0 win on the way to promotion. Eagles was as on the bench for the 2006 Play Off final before returning to parent club Manchester United who sold him to Burnley in 2008 for a fee north of the £1m mark. Watford Career: 26+5 (4 goals).
Clarke Carlisle was sold to the Clarets in 2007 having spent the best part of a year injured at Vicarage Road. Won promotion at the first attempt with the Goldenboys under Aidy Boothroyd having signed from Leeds for 100k. Made his name with Queens Park Rangers before well-documented alcohol problems. Watford Career: 34 +2 (3 goals).
Jack Cork spent a six month loan spell with Watford under Brendan Rodgers and impressed. Son of Wimbledon legend Alan Cork, Jack was on loan with Burnley last season in the Premier League and impressed enough for a return this year. The 21 year-old Chelsea midfielder has also spent time on loan at Bournemouth, Scunthorpe, Southampton and Coventry. A classy passer of the ball with good vision.Watford Career: 18+1 (0 Goals)
Match Officials: Referee: Mr A BATES, Assistants: Mr I J Crouch and Mr S J D Daly and Fourth Official: Mr P A Kelly.
Match Odds: Watford 13/10 (Victor Chandler) Burnley 23/10 (Victor Chandler) Draw 5/2 (SkyBet)
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