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GW-23 Live Chat, Part 2

It’s been a while but we still have Burnley v Watford left to conclude Premier League’s round 23!

Referee Mike Dean shows Emmanuel Dennis of a red card - Watford - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

The Premier League has one more game to offer in GW-23. Burnley v Watford may sound like a dull fixture, but it’s still very important for both teams given their relegation fight.

January may have been a little slow, with the English top-flight taking its winter break, but the mid-season transfer window has been more exciting than most previous years, ranking high on the list for money spent.

Fantasy managers who planned to profit from the double game-week may very well have a few Burnley and/or Watford players in their squads — Good luck to them, but my condolences to those who own Emmanuel Dennis, especially as captain! :(

During the Hornets’ 3-0 loss to Norwich, the striker was sent off in the second half. In fact, Dennis was the most captained player in the week, with 45.15% of FPL managers strapping the armband on him. He was very quiet throughout the game, producing only one off-target shot for a low expected-goal rating of 0.02. It’s as if he was protesting not being released to AFCON.

Honestly, it is fair to say that forwards have been unlucky with injury this season, and despite Michael Antonio and Emmanuel Dennis showing glimpses of talent, there has been a massive lack of consistency. The front line strikers have been disappointing, and there hasn’t been a true stand-out among them so far.


So in this make-up match, Burnley hosts Watford with serious ramifications in their relegation duel.

Sean Dyche’s men sit 20th in the table on 12 points after 18 games. Three points vs Watford would leapfrog them to 18th.

What is important to mention here is that Burnley still has two games in hand over 19th-place Watford and 18th-place Newcastle, and three over Norwich in 17th. That dangles the hope of escaping the relegation zone, but the Clarets’ next three fixtures are Man United, Liverpool and Tottenham, so failure today could mean sitting bottom for weeks to come.

Now, Watford has lost seven of the last eight games, the 3-0 thrashing by Norwich serving as the nail in Claudio Ranieri’s managerial coffin (and the red card for Dennis having a similar effect on fantasy managers’s game-week). Roy Hodgson is now in charge at Vicarage Road, and he’ll desperately want all three points to climb out of the relegation zone.

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Transfer

Burnley: Chris Wood left Burnley in January for Newcastle, but Sean Dyche replaced him with 6’ 5” Wout Weghorst for a fee of £14M from German outfit Wolfsburg.

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Availability/Injury

Burnley

Midfielder Josh Brownhill is suspended as he picked up up his fifth yellow card of the season against Arsenal. Maxwel Cornet has returned from AFCON duty, while Charlie Taylor and Matej Vydra will need assessing, and Ashley Barnes is likely to remain sidelined. However, we may very well see the debut of Weghorst on Saturday.

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Watford

William Troost-Ekong has been back in training since last week after Nigeria were knocked out. And on Tuesday, Adam Masina and Imran Louza joined back to their respective club team after Morocco were beaten by Egypt in the quarter-final stages. However, Ismaila Sarr will not be available as he’s set to face Egypt in the AFCON final on February 6.

And, Kwadwo Baah, Nicolas Nkoulou and Peter Etebo will not recover from their injuries in time. Ben Foster and Craig Cathcart may aim to return from illness in time for the match.


Key Facts:

  • Burnley has kept clean sheets in all of the last three meetings with Watford.
  • Watford has won only one of the last 21 Premier League midweek games away from home.
  • Burnley has lost only one of the last 12 home league games against the Hornets. Watford won 3-1 at Turf Moor in August 2018.
  • Burnley has failed to win six of its last seven games against freshly promoted teams.
  • Burnley hasn’t won any of the last six Premier League midweek games.

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Prediction: Burnley 2 — 0 Watford


Looking Ahead

What is that focal point where one can think of changing gears for your team? The answer could be GW-26 when eight teams are going to play doubles. Those being Liverpool, Arsenal, Wolves, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Leeds, Watford and Spurs.

Therefore, the likes of TAA, Robertson, Salah, Vardy & Sa will all have a DGW. It would still mean that Wolves have another game to be rearranged against Watford and Liverpool will have an outstanding fixture against Arsenal to be rearranged by the Premier League.

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Also, who do you think is going to win the AFCON final? Mo Salah’s Egypt or Sadio Mane’s Senegal?

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What are your predictions for Burnley v Watford? What are your fantasy strategies for the week? What transferred player are you keeping eyes on? Any you think should one opt for after this game? Who’s on your watch-list to buy before salaries adjust? Please let us know in the comments below!

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