Watford have no fresh injury concerns for the visit of Everton.
Midfielder Valon Behrami is available again after missing last week’s defeat at Arsenal due to illness.
Everton midfielder Gareth Barry returns after missing his side’s last two matches through suspension.
Full-back Leighton Baines is set to be included after apologising for his comments about the team’s lack of chemistry but Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman are doubts.
MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES
Simon Brotherton: “Both clubs are just a fortnight away from playing in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley, but have seen their league form tail off badly.
“They’ve managed only one win in 10 between them in the league in recent weeks, each losing four of the last five.
“Watford led twice at Goodison Park on the opening day of the season before being pegged back twice, but are having real problems scoring – managing only one goal in their last five league games.
“Everton have lost the last couple of games without finding the net but have only been beaten twice away from home all season.”
Everton should have got a point at the very least from their trip to Manchester United last week.
Watford, meanwhile, were battered at Arsenal. I don’t think the Hornets will be as bad again this week, though. This is a tough game to predict, but I am going to go for a draw.
- 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.
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY
Watford head coach Quique Sanchez Flores: “The responsibility is the coach. I need to transmit what the focus and target is.
“At the moment the players don’t respond in the way that I like because I am not able to transmit the necessary ambition to play the matches in the Premier League. So, I prefer to assume the responsibility. I have to support these players.
“We have a couple of distractions. The first one is that we got 37 points a long time ago. And the other distraction is the FA Cup. In the club, we talk a lot about the FA Cup. It is our fault, we need to change the mentality and we have told the players that.”
Everton manager Roberto Martinez: “We need to be obsessed with the games that we’ve got left in the league. We’re not going to give in a competition as important for us as the league. We know we’ve got one game in hand – we’ve got a lot of points to fight for.
“The last three defeats were very different, but clearly the hype that we had in achieving the semi-final of the FA Cup has affected the results in the league. It’s for us now to take responsibility in the league and make sure we get as many points as we can.”
- Watford won the first ever meeting between the sides but have only won one of the 20 subsequent meetings.
- That first meeting featured Watford’s only clean sheet against Everton.
- Watford’s last win was a 2-1 home victory in March 1987.
- Everton are unbeaten against Watford in the Premier League (W4, D1).
- Watford have only scored one goal in their last five league matches – Troy Deeney’s late effort in the 2-1 defeat against Stoke.
- Only Crystal Palace’s 2016 tally of three points is fewer than Watford’s eight.
- Odion Ighalo is on an eight-game goalscoring drought in the league – his only league goal in 2016 came on 23 January v Newcastle.
- Everton have lost their last three league matches and failed to score in their last two.
- They last failed to score in three consecutive league games in April 2006.
- However, they have won two of their last three league away games.
- Their tally of two away league defeats this season is a Premier League-low – along with Leicester and Tottenham.
- With 48 chances created each Ross Barkley and Troy Deeney are the second-most creative English players in the Premier League this season behind Leicester’s Marc Albrighton (58).
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.