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Premier League: Hodgson seeks quick Watford response

There is just the one Premier League game this weekend, but Burnley versus Watford could have a massive bearing on the relegation battle.

Bottom face second bottom at Turf Moor, with both the Clarets and Hornets on a run of seven games without a victory.

Throw into the mix the fact that Roy Hodgson takes charge of the visitors for the first time and there is a lot in the melting pot ahead of Saturday evening's encounter (18:00).

Burnley are currently available at 6/5 to collect a crucial three points, with Watford 5/2, while the draw can be backed at 9/4.

Roy has Hornets hopes

Speaking in his first press conference this week, Hodgson insisted that he wouldn't have taken the job at Vicarage Road if he didn't think the Hornets could stay up.

Having left Crystal Palace last summer at the age 74, many believed that may have been the end of his managerial career, but not only has he returned, but he's back in the Premier League.

When asked about Watford's survival chances, the former England boss stated: "It's more than possible. The proof of the pudding is in the eating and it's important the players react well and they can produce the level of performances that are going to be necessary."

The main task for Hodgson is shoring up a backline that is yet to keep a clean sheet yet this season, with Watford available at 25/1 for Under 0.5 in the Total Season Clean Sheets market.

The one stat in particular that Hornets fans will be clinging on to, is that Hodgson has never suffered relegation from the Premier League.

The veteran coach says the players at the club are "good enough" to keep Watford in the league, with Hodgson's men currently 12/5 to avoid the drop back into the Championship and 3/10 to be relegated.

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Clarets hopes rest with Weghorst

It's been a strange first half to the season for Burnley, who have been hampered by injuries, had several games postponed and seen striker Chris Wood sold to relegation rivals Newcastle United.

This is clearly the biggest test yet for Sean Dyche, who is looking to keep the Clarets in the top-flight for a seventh consecutive campaign - Burnley are currently 6/4 to stay up this season.

At least they were able to find a strike solution on transfer deadline day, sealing the capture of Wout Weghorst from Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg and the 29-year-old is set to make his debut on Saturday.

Weghorst moves to Lancashire with a big reputation and an impressive scoring record, averaging a goal every other game during his time in Germany and also with AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands.

The Dutchman will have to hit the ground running with Burnley to give them the best hope of survival, with Weghorst 4/1 to score 10 or more Premier League goals during the remainder of the season.

The hosts are also boosted by the news that Maxwel Cornet should be available to return following Ivory Coast's exit from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Head-to-Head stats

Burnley have had the better of recent meetings between the sides, winning four of their last six meetings and only losing one of those Premier League fixtures.

Dyche's men won this fixture 1-0 last time they met at Turf Moor, in June 2020, with Jay Rodriguez scoring a second-half winner.

In fact, Watford have failed to score in the last three encounters with the Clarets, although their only win in the last six meetings did come on the road - when they claimed a 1-3 success at Turf Moor in 2018.

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