Last week this column enjoyed a rather lovely winner thanks to Huddersfield Town’s Terriers biting the leg (both legs, actually) and savaging a very-sorry-for-themselves West Bromwich Albion.
Since then, we have been kept awake at night trying to find a reason why we should not bet on Watford to do exactly the same when they host Alan Pardew’s West Brom side at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
We are yet to find one. Answers on a postcard pretty sharpish. Until we wait for the post to arrive, we will be taking on the +110 that BMR’s green-listed bookmakers generously offer about Watford. While up at all hours we were pretty convinced that would be going off with a big, fat MINUS in front of their numbers. Praise be then that Ladbrokes, Betfair and Bet Victor are feeling so generous. William Hill offer +105.
Watford, of course, need to do their part. It won’t be enough to simply turn up, lace up their boots and collect the points. The signs are good, though. They have lost once in their last four, notching two wins and a draw.
The victories were mightily impressive. The 4-1 bashing of Chelsea cost us money, while the hard-fought 1-0 success over Everton last time out suggests that the doom and gloom of the horror run between October and December is firmly behind them.
Most important, their backline is ship-shape. It’s five goals conceded in four games. Now, that might not be particularly pleasing for the upper-echelon clubs but down among the dead men, who could get their grubby hooks into you at any time, it’s a defensive record to be proud of.
The home record of Watford is strong. Almost fortress like. It’s just five defeats in 14. West Brom, as it turns out, are not likely to worry Watford’s defenders much. Their road record is poor in terms of goals scored and points accrued – seven and seven, respectively.
This could be Pardew’s last game as coach. He has taken just eight points since he took over from Tony Pulis in November. There’s a solitary win in there. It is true that Pardew has been badly let down by senior players for their show of ill-discipline when away on a club training camp in Barcelona. But it exposes the respect (or lack of) they have for him and their doomed position.
West Brom are bottom and seven points from safety. After Watford they will have nine games left. Defeat will be the anesthetic kicking in before they’re put out of their misery for good.