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Watford’s task of avoiding an immediate drop back down to the Championship has become much tougher, after they were beaten 3-0 at home against Leeds United last weekend.
Goals from Raphinha, Rodrigo and Jack Harrison condemned the Hornets to their 21st Premier League defeat of the season, and although Roy Hodgson has urged supporters to keep the faith, their defensive frailties are proving to be a major factor in their downfall.
Watford have now conceded 60 goals in the top flight this campaign, only Leeds (68) and Norwich City (63) have conceded more, and they have only kept three clean sheets all season, the fewest of any team in the division.
Hodgson’s side remain 19th in the table but a victory for Everton against Manchester United last weekend means that the gap to safety has increased to six points with seven games remaining.
Watford’s miserable home form has seen them lose their last nine league games in succession at Vicarage Road, conceding 25 goals in the process. Another defeat on their own turf this weekend would see the Hornets become only the second team in top-flight history to lose 10 consecutive home matches in the same season after Birmingham City back in February 1986.
The Hornets have lost their last two encounters against Brentford, both of which were on the road, but they are unbeaten in their last nine meetings with the Bees on home soil.
Watford will be without winger Cucho Hernandez after he picked up a hamstring injury in the first half against Leeds last weekend.
Emmanuel Dennis is the most likely candidate to replace Hernandez in the starting lineup, joining Joao Pedro and Ismaila Sarr in attack.
Kiko Femenia, Christian Kabasele, Samir and Hassane Kamara could all continue in the back four, though the likes of Craig Cathcart, Francisco Sierralta and Adam Masina will be hoping to force their way into the first XI.
As for Brentford, midfield duo Frank Onyeka and Josh Dasilva are both ruled out as they continue to recover from respective ankle and hamstring injuries.
Pontus Jansson is doubtful and will be assessed ahead of kickoff after he missed last weekend’s win against West Ham due to illness.
Frank opted to select Kristoffer Ajerq pop at right-back in a four-man defence against the Hammers, and the Norwegian could keep his spot should the Bees boss decide to stick with a 4-3-3 formation.
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Christian Eriksen is set to continue in centre-midfield and could be joined by Christian Norgaard and Vitaly Janelt, while Toney, Mbuemo and Yoane Wissa are all set to start in attack.
Watford possible starting lineup:
Foster; Femenia, Kabasele, Samir, Kamara; Sissoko, Louza, Kucka; Sarr, Pedro, Dennis
Brentford possible starting lineup:
Raya; Ajer, Jansson, Jorgensen, Henry; Janelt, Norgaard, Eriksen; Wissa, Toney, Mbeumo