Premier League

Watford-Burnley Preview

Sean Dyche insists Burnley's showdown with Watford has no added significance to any other game, despite both sides currently struggling at the wrong end of the Premier League.

The Clarets have won just one of their opening 15 matches and are without a goal in their last three outings ahead of Wednesday's contest at Turf Moor.

Burnley are no strangers to finding themselves in relegation danger at this stage in the season, however, and Dyche is confident his side will once again pull clear of the drop.

"I still think it's pretty early to be talking about these things," he said. "We've been down this situation before. There's a lot of games to come, there's a lot of football to be played.

"We've slowly but surely been getting back to where I think we can be, certainly with clean sheets and being tighter in games and draws.

"It is a case of the next one is the most important one, regardless of who you're playing, because you need to pick up points wherever you can."

Burnley occupy a spot in the relegation zone but are just a couple of points behind Watford, who have also played a game more.

The Hornets are the only side without a clean sheet in the Premier League this term and head coach Claudio Ranieri accepts a big improvement is required at the back.

"I am happy because we can make a lot of chances to score goals, but of course we have to improve our defensive way," he said.

"If I say the defensive line [must improve] it's only the defensive line, but everybody must be focused to stop the other team.

"Only three times we haven't score a goal. That's why I say we have to improve our defensive way."

Burnley - Matej Vydra

Burnley have had just three attempts on target in their last three games, failing to find the net from any of those, and could go four top-flight matches without a goal for the first time in 13 months.

Vydra will be hoping for a recall on the back of the stalemate with West Ham, but the Czech Republic international has just one goal in 13 Premier League outings in 2021-22.

Watford - Emmanuel Dennis

While Watford are struggling at the wrong end of the division, Dennis is doing his reputation no harm thanks to a return of five goals and four assists in his last seven games.

The 24-year-old has therefore had a hand in 64 per cent of the 14 goals Watford have scored across that period.

- Burnley have kept a clean sheet in each of their last three league games against Watford (W2 D1), as many as they had managed in their previous 20 against the Hornets.

- Watford have won just one of their last 12 away league games against Burnley (D4 L7), winning 3-1 in the Premier League in August 2018.

- Burnley have won just two of their 12 Premier League home games on Wednesdays (D5 L5) - 1-0 against Manchester United in August 2009 (their first ever victory in the competition) and 3-2 against Aston Villa in January last season.

- Watford have taken just two points from their 39 available away from home in Premier League games played on Wednesdays (W0 D2 L11), with those points coming at Stoke City in January 2018 (0-0) and Bournemouth in January 2019 (3-3).

- Burnley have won just one of their 15 league matches this season (D8 L6); only in 1889-90 and 1979-80 (both 0) have they had fewer wins at this stage of a league campaign. Before this season, just one of the last 10 sides to win just one (or fewer) of their first 15 games of a Premier League campaign avoided relegation, with Southampton doing so in 2018-19.

Updated December 14, 2021

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