Two of the Premier League’s surprise packages will go head-to-head at Vicarage Road on Saturday, as Javi Gracia’s Watford take on Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth.

Both sides currently sit joint on 13 points, with the Hornets' superior goal difference keeping them above the Cherries in the league standings.

The last meeting between the two teams produced a breathtaking, back and forth affair ending in a 2-2 draw, courtesy of a last gasp equaliser from England international Jermain Defoe.

Here is everything you need to know ahead of the weekend’s fixture.

Key Battle

Troy Deeney vs. Nathan Ake

With both sides deploying a somewhat old fashioned 4-4-2 formation this season, Watford will be hoping that their striking partnership of Andre Gray and captain Troy Deeney can cause the Cherries defence some problems.

Bournemouth are coming off the back of a solid 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace on Monday night, with central defender Nathan Ake putting in a man of the match performance.

Training Holland

The 23-year-old Netherlands international spent 2015/16 season on loan at Vicarage Road and will know a large majority of the players he is facing this weekend.

It will be to job of the young defender to keep former teammate Deeney quiet throughout the suspected feisty affair – something the youngster will need to do if the Cherries are to walk away victorious.

Team News

Watford will be without injured duo Tom Cleverley and Miguel Britos who are both yet to feature this season, whilst Gerard Deulofeu remains a doubt despite resuming full first team training.

Midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah recently featured for the Hornets Under-23 side, but has been deemed fit only enough for a spot on the bench, whilst starting right back Daryl Janmaat will be out for five to six weeks following knee surgery, leaving Javi Gracia with the options of Marc Navarro and Kiko Femenia on the right of defence.

Bournemouth full back Charlie Daniels remains absent for the Cherries trip to Vicarage Road following an ongoing knee injury, whilst Eddie Howe has a fully fit rest of the squad.

Predicted Lineups

Watford: Foster; Navarro, Cathcart, Kabasele, Holebas; Doucoure, Capoue; Hughes, Pereyra; Deeney, Gray.

Bournemouth: Begovic; Smith, Ake, Cook, Francis; Brooks, Lerma, Cook, Fraser; Wilson, King. 


Despite Watford’s defeat at the hands of Arsenal last weekend, there is now taking away from their impressive start to the 2018/19 Premier League campaign, which has seen them pick up 13 points from the opening seven matches.

Bournemouth have matched the Hornets record so far this season however, but some may argue that the Cherries have had a easier running of opposition thus far, having faced just one of last season’s top six compared to the Hornets three.

Burnley FC v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

This top flight clash will be a real tough test for both sides, and with both teams playing attacking, free-flowing football, it could end up being a very close game.

This fixture has produced some incredible moments and performances in recent seasons leading to a somewhat unusual rivalry; a rivalry which Eddie Howe will be hoping he can use to hype up his players and push for a close fought victory.

Prediction: Watford 1-2 Bournemouth