Gray begins four-match ban for Burnley – Team news & preview

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Burnley's Sean Dyche


    Burnley forward Andre Gray begins a four-match ban imposed by the FA on Friday for homophobic comments he posted on social media in 2012.

    Striker Ashley Barnes remains unavailable because of a hamstring injury.

    Watford right-back Daryl Janmaat has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a shoulder injury sustained last weekend.

    Fellow defenders Jose Holebas and Younes Kaboul are also doubts.


    Steve Wilson: “All the so-called golden football rules of seeking to maintain a stable squad and continuity in the manager’s seat have been scrunched up into a ball of so much rubbish, and lobbed unceremoniously into the Vicarage Road bin by Watford’s owning Pozzo family.

    “One of Gino Pozzo’s first acts as owner in 2012 was to sack Sean Dyche, even though Watford had just finished in their highest league position for four years.

    “Since then Gianfranco Zola, Beppe Samino, Oscar Garcia, Billy McKinlay, Slavisa Jokanovic, Quique Flores and now Walter Mazzari have been appointed Hornets’ boss.

    “Meanwhile Dyche has found a home at Turf Moor – where they tend not to turf out their managers quite so regularly.

    “The approach is different, the progress similar – so stand by for the first ever top flight meeting of Burnley and Watford.”

    Twitter: @SteveWilson1967


    Burnley manager Sean Dyche on former club Watford: “It’s well-documented I’ve always had respect for the club.

    “The situation, the business changed etc etc but I mean every word when I say I had a fantastic time there as player, youth coach, assistant manager and manager.

    “Because business changes and you lose your job it doesn’t mean I hold any baggage at all, I certainly don’t. It’s a lot of water under the bridge and they’ve gone on to become a Premier League club so their model of working has worked for them.”

    Watford head coach Walter Mazzarri: “We have shown that we can fight against anyone, but the real step forward I want to see is how we will behave against a club like Burnley.

    “I haven’t been here long and I need to verify the progress of this team, and we will see on Monday night what the progress is.”


    This is a big game for Burnley because the onus is on them to win it. Their attacking record is poor – they are in the bottom two for shots at goal and shots on target this season.

    Watford generally play two up front, or a derivation of that, so if I am Dyche I am thinking we have got to go for it in this one. I think Burnley might nick it too.

    Prediction: 2-1

    Lawro’s full predictions v world number one darts player Michael van Gerwen

    • 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.
    Burnley's Sam Vokes



    • This will be the first top-flight fixture between Burnley and Watford.
    • Five of the last six league meetings have been drawn, including the last four.
    • The Clarets are unbeaten in eight home league games against Watford since a 2-3 defeat in April 2004 (W4, D4).


    • Burnley are the lowest goalscorers in the Premier League this season with three goals.
    • The Clarets have only managed four goal attempts on target in their last three league games overall.
    • Sean Dyche’s side have conceded just five goals in their last 16 home league fixtures.
    • Burnley manager Sean Dyche managed Watford between June 2011 and July 2012, winning 17 of his 49 games in charge.


    • The Hornets have had the oldest starting XI on average in the top flight this season, aged 29 years and 281 days.
    • They are yet to keep a clean sheet after five matches.
    • Watford have scored three or more goals in consecutive Premier League games for the first time. They have not scored at least three goals in three successive league matches since January 2011.
    • Etienne Capoue has scored four goals from just five shots on target in the top flight this season.
    • Troy Deeney has scored 98 goals in all competitions for the club and is bidding to become only the fifth Watford player to reach the century mark. Deeney has scored in three of his last five games against Burnley.
    SAM’s verdict
    Most probable score: 0-1Probability of draw: 28%
    Probability of home win: 31%Probability of away win: 41%

    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.

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