Norwich City-Watford Preview

It may be the last chance for Norwich City to escape the drop Tuesday when they face Watford in a six-point relegation belter at Vicarage Road.

The Canaries (5-6-22) are perched at the bottom of the table on 21 points, seven adrift of Watford, who are 17th and one point better than fellow bottom-three sides Aston Villa and Bournemouth with five matches remaining. A defeat would all but consign Norwich City to a return to the Championship after one season, but a road victory - something only achieved at Everton this term - would be a definite lifeline to survival.

Daniel Farke's club, though, are in dire straits. They have lost all four matches in Project Restart and have yet to score a goal while shipping nine of them. Saturday's 1-0 loss at home to Brighton and Hove Albion may have been Norwich's death knell as they have now gone 470 minutes without a goal in league play since Jamal Lewis' winner versus Leicester City on Feb. 28.

"For us it's not as easy to create as many chances as a team who are dominating the games, we also have to make sure that against the ball we are unbelievably solid and make the lives of the opponent difficult," Farke explained to The Pink Un. "Then we also speak about 'come on, let's be more brave, not play too complicated in front of the opponent's box' and let's be there with shots and also with more confidence.

"When I compared our game with Brighton, let's be honest, they had more or less just this one chance and they were able to score."

Compounding problems for the Canaries will be the absence of midfielder Todd Cantwell, the team's second-leading scorer in league play with six goals, through a hamstring injury. Kenny McLean and Alex Tettey will be late decisions as they deal with knee and ankle knocks, respectively.

Norwich City have taken just six points from their 16 road matches while scoring just six goals. They are winless in their last nine league matches (0-2-7) outside Carrow Road.

Watford (6-10-17) have little margin for error in their three-way tango with the Villans and Cherries, having the fewest goals among the three clubs and comparable goal difference. The Hornets are also winless in four matches since resuming play and have dropped three on the spin after being outclassed 3-0 at Chelsea on Saturday.

For a side that sprung the upset of the season in handing champions Liverpool their first loss, Nigel Pearson's team struck a relatively passive tone throughout the match at Stamford Bridge, putting just three shots on frame to Chelsea's nine. Perhaps with an eye on this match, Pearson swapped out talisman Troy Deeney and key midfielder Etienne Capoue on the hour.

It was only then Watford appeared to show a pulse but had nothing to show for it, and even conceded the third in stoppage time.

"The next game is important," Capoue's central midfield partner Abdoulaye Doucoure told Watford's official website. "You have to take it step by step and the next step is Norwich. It's a massive game, it is a big final. We have to come back to winning ways and it starts Tuesday, then Newcastle and then West Ham. We are going to start winning games on Tuesday."

Watford were held without a shot on target in their last contest at Vicarage Road, a 3-1 defeat to Southampton in which they scored via an own goal.

The Hornets, though, did run out 2-0 winners in the reverse fixture in November that was also their first victory of the season. Gerard Deulofeu scored in the second minute and turned playmaker for Andre Gray's second-half goal. Watford then held out the final 25 minutes with 10 men after Christian Kabasele was booked for the second time.

Watford have not done a top-flight double over Norwich City since the sides were in the First Division in 1985-86.

Updated July 6, 2020

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