Watford striker Odion Ighalo is expected to play despite the death of his father last weekend.
Midfielder Etienne Capoue suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Hornets’ FA Cup semi-final defeat by Crystal Palace.
Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark is fit after an ankle problem and could replace Micah Richards, who is nursing a knee injury.
Gabby Agbonlahor will not be involved despite the lifting of his club ban.
MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES
John Roder: “Consider this scenario. Team A are 12th in the Premier League table and reached the FA Cup semi-final. Their place is assured in the top division for next season.
“Team B are relegated, have had as many managers as victories and are heading for the Championship after a dismal campaign.
“Now call Team A Aston Villa and Team B Watford. This is what, maybe unfairly, might have been expected back in August.
“Instead, in reality, Watford have been superb under Quique Sanchez Flores, while Villa are in disarray. But if Watford’s owners decide to dispense with the popular Spanish manager, could they be Team B next year?”
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY
Watford head coach Quique Flores on speculation about his future: “I’m not going to justify the season. I have experience in football and I feel happiness around Watford. The way people read the season, it’s impossible (to say).
“What I understand is as a human being when you reach objectives, you want more. That is sometimes possible, sometimes it is not.”
Aston Villa acting manager Eric Black: “I’ve got to be honest – I don’t think there has been a lot of enjoyment (in the job).
“I don’t want it to sound like I’m looking for sympathy because I’m not but there’s a lot of negativity around, especially over the last seven or eight weeks and that has made it hard.
“This is not a normal job in football, you’re not working with normal football elements here.”
Quique Flores should be judged on where Watford finish and results over the whole season, not just the past couple of months.
I am not sure it will make any difference if his side beat Villa, but they will.
- 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.
- Watford have lost just one of their previous eight league meetings against Aston Villa at Vicarage Road (W4, D3).
- The Hornets scored for the first time in five Premier League meetings against Villa in the reverse fixture, which they won 3-2 at Villa Park.
- Watford have won only once in their last eight league games (D1, L6).
- Quique Sanchez Flores’ side have played five games so far against the bottom four clubs and won them all.
- Odion Ighalo has averaged a Premier League goal every 1200 minutes since the turn of the year; he scored a goal every 122 minutes up until then.
- Aston Villa will equal their club record of 11 successive defeats, set in 1963, should they lose.
- They have conceded 29 goals during their current 10-game losing streak, scoring just five times.
- Villa have not kept a league clean sheet in 16 away games since beating Bournemouth on the opening day.
- Opponents Watford can become the eighth team to complete a league double over Villa in 2015-16.
SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by Professor Ian McHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.