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    West Brom v Watford: Match Preview

    By Alex Easley
    Quique Sanchez Flores takes his Watford team to West Brom on Saturday.
    FA Cup semi-finalists Watford travel to the Hawthorns to play West Brom in a mid-table clash with both teams all but assured Premier League safety.

    The visitors are without a league win in six games, however Quique Sanchez Flores has led his side to at least one Wembley appearance after beating Arsenal at the Emirates in the quarter-finals and victory on Saturday would see them go above their West Midlands opponents in the table.

    Flores had this to say on his opposition this weekend: "They are playing with a very British style, they are very compact, they reduce the space, they use very well the long-ball and set-pieces, so I know the opponent we are going to find and we will try to play well.

    "I think it's amazing for the Premier League to have these kind of variants because the styles are completely different. You need to manage things different, you need to plan different, but it's perfect."
    This could provide the perfect preparation for Watford FA Cup semi-final next weekend.
    Albion put up a good fight at Champions League semi-finalists Manchester City last weekend and will be looking to take that sort of performance into the match with Watford where a win could move them into 11th position if other results do indeed go their way.

    They have also been bolstered by the news of Gareth McAuley and Jonas Olsson signing one-year contract extensions at the club.

    West Brom head coach Tony Pulis said this week: "Watford are very solid, very well organised, the manager's done a very good job in that respect.

    "The cream of the cake is at the top of the pitch. I've been impressed with [Odion] Ighalo and [Troy] Deeney, they've done exceptionally well.

    "The two of them are very good players and they've really been the reason why Watford have done so well."


    West Brom will check on Salomon Rondon, Spurs loanee Alex Pritchard and Callum McManaman ahead of the game.

    Rondon is thought to have overcome the back injury that forced him off during the first half at Manchester City last weekend but the striker will be assessed as a precaution.

    Pritchard's hip problem makes him less likely to feature while fellow midfielder McManaman is also a doubt. Baggies boss Tony Pulis hopes James Morrison might be able to return from his ruptured hamstring before the end of the season but he will not be available on Saturday.

    Hornets boss Flores has a fully-fit squad and the Spaniard has hinted he could make changes with an FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace next week and the need to address a six-game winless league run the main factors behind any alterations.

    The likes of Nathan Ake, Allan Nyom, Sebastian Prodl and Almen Abdi will therefore be hoping for recalls while Joel Ekstrand is unlikely to feature having only just returned from a long-term knee injury.
    Salomon Rondon is set to have a late fitness test.


    West Brom are unbeaten in 15 league meetings with Watford (W8, D7).

    The last time the Hornets beat the Baggies was a 1-0 win at The Hawthorns in the second tier in February 1995.

    Watford have failed to keep a clean sheet on their last seven league trips to The Hawthorns, conceding 21 goals in those games.

    West Brom

    West Brom were beaten at home for the first time in seven league games when they faced Norwich in their most recent fixture at The Hawthorns (W4, D2).

    The Baggies' current tally of 40 points after 32 games is seven more than they had at this stage last season.

    West Brom have had just four shots on target in their last four Premier League games, yet have scored with two of them.

    The average age of Albion's starting XI in the Premier League this season is the oldest in the competition at 29 years and 219 days.


    Watford ended a four-match losing streak with their draw against Everton, although they have gone six games without a league win (D2, L4).

    They are the lowest-scoring team in the Premier League in 2016 so far, with just seven goals.

    The Hornets have won four games in the FA Cup in 2016 - double the amount they have managed in the Premier League.

    K.O. 3PM – 16/04/2016
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    Item Reviewed: West Brom v Watford: Match Preview Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Alex Easley
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