Middlesbrough have no new injury concerns, with the likes of Gaston Ramirez and Cristhian Stuani returning unscathed from international duty.
Captain Grant Leadbitter, a long-term absentee, remains out along with James Husband.
Watford’s summer signing Isaac Success could make his full debut after recovering from a leg injury.
Miguel Britos and Valon Behrami could start following knocks, but Craig Cathcart and Daryl Janmaat are out.
MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES
Steve Bower: “Both clubs will look at this fixture as a winnable one.
“For Middlesbrough, their form at the Riverside will be pivotal to their chances of remaining in the top flight.
“The fact six of their seven points have come on the road is a bonus, but the sooner the first home win arrives the better.
“They will be wary of Watford’s threat, as Walter Mazzarri’s team have scored four at West Ham and beat Manchester United at home.
“However, they were out-fought in their last game on the road at Burnley. Any repeat and Boro might get their first home win.”
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY
Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka: “We’ve had an international break but in our last game at West Ham we played with the right organisation and attitude.
“We have to go to the pitch on Sunday with the same attitude and hopefully we can win our first game at home this season.”
Watford head coach Walter Mazzarri on Troy Deeney’s England prospects: “Deeney has to show and to prove in the next games that he can be called up to the national team.
“When I speak with Troy, I always tell him that he just needs to show it with Watford in order to be called up for the national team.
“He’s got everything that a good forward needs. He’s got physical and technical ability. It’s just a matter of him proving it with Watford.”
Boro have slipped into the bottom third of the table in recent weeks but, to be honest, that is where they are expected to be.
As good as Watford were when they beat Manchester United, I watched them at Burnley and they were totally unconvincing.
That makes this hard game to predict either way – so I am going for a draw.
Lawro’s full predictions v Strictly Come Dancing Star Ed Balls
- Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.
- Middlesbrough are without a win in their last five league games against Watford, drawing two and losing three.
- The two sides have not met in the Premier League since 2007 when Boro ran out 4-1 victors – the biggest winning margin by either side in their 36 meetings.
- Middlesbrough have won only one of their last 13 Premier League matches, drawing five and losing seven, and keeping just two clean sheets.
- Boro’s tally of six points is their second lowest after seven games of a Premier League season. They had five points at the same stage in 2006-07.
- They have lost an unrivalled seven points from winning positions in the Premier League this season.
- Watford have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 12 Premier League games, conceding 26 goals in the process.
- They have let in a league-high six headed goals in the top-flight this season – 46% of their total goals conceded.
- Watford have never won – or scored – in a Premier League away match played on a Sunday (D1, L3).
- Troy Deeney is currently on 99 goals in all competitions for Watford. If he scores he will become only the fifth player in the club’s history to reach a century.
- Deeney has scored six times against Middlesbrough for Watford – only against Leeds United has he scored as many for the Hornets.
SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.