Bournemouth will be left wondering how they’ve failed to make up much ground on their relegation rivals after taking four points from clashes with Spurs and Leicester.
However, West Ham and Watford have picked up results of their own in recent games and with three outings left to play, they both stand three points above the drop zone.
Effectively, if this clash produces a winner then that team will be on the cusp of survival, though with Bournemouth and Villa playing tough fixtures Wednesday and Thursday respectively, a draw here on Friday might well be enough to put both sides on the brink.
Nigel Pearson’s arrival at Watford handed the club an initial boost and while that petered out and gave way to some further defeats, victories in their two most recent outings has handed them a healthy chance of maintaining their top-flight status.
These did however come when hosting Norwich and Newcastle by narrow scorelines, and with their final two games against Man City and Arsenal, they’ll be desperate to get something from this encounter before then.
The Hornets’ away record leaves a lot to be desired though as they’ve lost eight of 11 since the end of November, including each of the past four as they failed to even register a goal.
However, the Hammers are hardly watertight at the back and with their 4-0 win at Norwich their first clean sheet in 15 outings, we wouldn’t bank on Watford drawing a blank – even with Troy Deeney doubtful and both Gerard Deulofeu and Isaac Success out injured.
Michael Antonio To Score Anytime
Michael Antonio’s remarkable four-goal haul in the win over Norwich continues his fine form and he’s now scored in three of West Ham’s last four matches, leaving him rather large at the prices as West Ham’s biggest goal threat in recent outings.
In fact, Antonio has scored seven of the Hammers’ last 10 goals going back into late February, as only Tomas Soucek and Andriy Yarmolenko have added their names to the list.
West Ham Draw No Bet
The Hammers are only W5-D3-L9 at home this season but it’s noticeable that seven of those defeats came against top-half outfits.
They’ve won two of their last four unbeaten home games against bottom-half teams, and look worth getting behind to at least not lose, especially given Watford’s record away from home.
West Ham have won three of the past four head-to-head meetings by a minimum two-goal margin, and should be comfortable draw no bet given the Hornets have managed just two away wins all season.