Premier League

Watford-Aston Villa Preview

(STATS) – Watford’s resurgence under manager Nigel Pearson has been rather remarkable. Their current run of form included a victory over Aston Villa.

The visiting Hornets look to do the double over Villa whilst trying to extend their Premier League unbeaten run to seven games on Tuesday night.

Once seemingly a lock for relegation with one victory through their first 17 Premier League matches, Watford (5-8-10) have worked their way out of the drop zone – barely – thanks to a current 4-2-0 run of form. The Hornets are 4-2-1 since Pearson has been on the touchline, as one of the great escape jobs in Premier League history seems to be in full force.

Though their three-game winning streak ended Saturday, Watford still managed a point via the scoreless home draw with Spurs. That left the Hornets in 17th place, one spot and one point ahead of 18th-place Aston Villa (6-4-13), who sit atop the drop zone.

“It’s a point won,” midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah told Watford’s official website.

“We have to focus on our performances. The last three or four games we have been at a good level, and the results will follow the performances.

“We are in a very positive frame of mind and we know the situation we are in … We have got to keep on improving on ourselves and as a team.”

Watford should feel confident traveling to Birmingham to face Villa, whom they beat 3-0 at home on Dec. 28. Troy Deeney (four goals) had a goal on either side of half-time and Ismaila Sarr (three goals) added some 71st-minute insurance as Watford rolled whilst keeping a clean sheet for the first of three times in the last four league contests.

“I think this club has an incredible amount of potential, but what we have to do is protect our immediate future, and this is by doing what we can do to get out of the situation we’re in, which we’re still in,” Pearson said.

“We’ve given ourselves a better chance, but what we haven’t done yet is eradicated the threat of relegation.”

That’s because teams like Villa are working equally as hard whilst fighting for their Premier League lives. The Villans, who reportedly have been linked to the likes of big names Olivier Giroud and Christian

Benteke during this January transfer window, seem poised to make a needed offensive splash (only 29 goals in league play), if the money is right, to remain in the top-flight past this season.

After being thrashed 6-1 by Manchester City at home on Jan. 12, Villa earned a much-needed point with Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion. Down 1-0, Jack Grealish recorded the equalising goal in the 75th minute to help Villa share the spoils versus Brighton.

“We spoke at half-time: You either fold or you pick yourselves up and go out there and prove why you want to stay in the Premier League,” defender Matt Targett told Aston Villa’s official website.

“Of course, we would have liked three points, but we’ll take the draw and go again on Tuesday at Villa Park.

Grealish leads Villa with seven Premier League goals. Two of those have come over the last three contests. He also has three goals and three assists in his last six home games.

Categories: Premier League, UNB! FC

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