First Team 1 week ago

Match Pack: Norwich City v Watford

As the Hornets prepare to visit Norwich City at Carrow Road in the Premier League, here is all you need to know about the fixture...


INFO

  • Norwich City v Watford
  • Premier League
  • Carrow Road
  • Friday November 8, 8.00pm GMT

TICKETS

  • Away tickets for this fixture are SOLD OUT.

HOW TO FOLLOW

  • Live commentary of the match will be available at watfordfc.com.
  • This match will be televised on Sky Sports.
  • Find live coverage and behind-the-scenes content on our social channels!

OFFICIALS

Referee: Andre Marriner
Assistants: Scott Ledger, Simon Long
Fourth official: Keith Stroud
VAR: Andy Madley
Assistant VAR: Andy Halliday


TEAM NEWS

Quique Sánchez Flores said Troy Deeney (knee) is ready to be involved with the first team again, while Étienne Capoue (back), Sebastian Prödl (hamstring), Ismaïla Sarr (hamstring) and José Holebas have also been recovering this week and could be involved. Danny Welbeck (hamstring), Tom Cleverley (heel) and Domingos Quina (groin) are still unavailable.

Daniel Farke said Grant Hanley (groin) and Christoph Zimmermann (ankle) are unlikely to return until after the international break, whereas Mario Vrancic (calf) could make his comeback against Watford. Todd Cantwell and Ibrahim Amadou have also recovered from knocks.


OPPOSITION FORM

Newly-promoted Norwich City have had a tricky start to the season but, despite losing two more games than Watford, the Canaries pulled off early wins against Newcastle United and shockingly Manchester City to earn them six of their seven Premier League points so far. A loss to Brighton at the weekend means they go into this fixture in 19th place. Daniel Farke’s team were the entertainers of the Championship last campaign, winning the league with 94 points. Teemu Pukki was the Championship’s top scorer with 29 goals and carried his form into the Premier League, scoring six goals in his first five games, but the striker has not scored in his past six outings, since September 14. Argentine Emi Buendía has also been in form with four assists, putting him joint second in the charts.


HEAD TO HEAD

Overall:

Won 27, Drawn 29, Lost 42

Last Six:

May 2016: Norwich City 4-2 Watford (Deeney, Ighalo) (Premier League)
Dec 2015: Watford 2-0 Norwich City (Deeney, Ighalo) (Premier League)
Feb 2015: Watford 0-3 Norwich City (Championship)
Aug 2014: Norwich 3-0 Watford (Championship)
Sep 2013: Watford 2-3 Norwich City (Acuna, Faraoni) (EFL Cup)
Apr 2011: Watford 2-2 Norwich City (Graham, Cowie) (Championship)


GOLDEN FLASHBACK

August 6, 2010 — Norwich City 2-3 Watford: John Eustace opened the scoring and Danny Graham added another two goals as the Hornets saw off a newly-promoted Norwich City side on the opening day of the 2010/11 Championship season. The game marked Troy Deeney’s first appearance for the club, as he came on for Marvin Sordell after signing from Walsall on the same day. Graham’s double was the start of an impressive goalscoring season, as he netted 24 goals in the league, winning the golden boot, and 27 in all competitions.


PLAYED FOR BOTH

Sébastien Bassong

Although his time at Vicarage Road was brief, Sébastien Bassong played a part in the Hornets’ most recent promotion, joining for the first half of the 2014/15 season. He made 11 first-team appearances for the club before returning to Norwich City in January 2015. As both Watford and Norwich achieved promotion come the end of the season, Bassong was presented with two medals. He returned to Vicarage Road with Norwich in the Premier League but failed to keep out Ighalo and Deeney in a 2-0 victory for the Hornets.

Malky Mackay

Mackay spent most of his playing career at Carrow Road, making 212 appearances for Norwich. After a short spell at West Ham he joined the Hornets. Mackay made 52 appearances for Watford over three years and scored three goals, including a winner against Luton Town. In 2007, Mackay joined Aidy Boothroyd’s coaching staff, becoming first-team coach, and in June 2009 he was named manager – having been caretaker manager for a short spell the year prior. He spent two successful seasons in the Hornets' hotseat before moving on to Cardiff City.

Anthony McNamee

McNamee started his career at Watford, coming through the youth ranks, and went on to make 91 appearances for the first team, scoring twice. At the end of the 2001/02 season he won the Young Player of the Season award. He heavily featured during the 2005/06 campaign, making 26 starts for Aidy Boothroyd’s side. The winger later spent a season on loan to the Canaries in 2009/10 and earned a permanent transfer to Norwich the following season, where he went on to make 32 appearances.


WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?

Quique Sánchez Flores:

“It's a big final for both teams. It's not the end of the season, but it's a big final. The result can change the future of both teams. It's massive.

“They are in the same situation as us. They are positive, stable and able to play very good matches. They are also suffering a little bit, like us, and we are at the same point in the season with similar feelings.

“We know we need to change this dynamic and this situation. It's about what we can do versus Norwich.”

Daniel Farke:

“It's the Premier League so there's no 'easy' game. Even tomorrow we are probably seen at having less than a 50 per cent chance of winning the game, but we need to keep fighting and get as many wins as we can against the bigger clubs to survive.

“There probably is more pressure on Watford than us, they're in a worse position than us and it's not easy as they're meant to be an experienced Premier League team. It's a game where both teams are just focusing on being the better side, I don't think the pressure will get to an experienced side like Watford.

“Deeney is a very important player for Watford, so we need to find solutions to deal with that.”

First Team 1 week ago

Sánchez Flores: “It's A Big Final For Both Sides”

By Kevin Affleck

Quique Sánchez Flores has coached in a Europa League final, a Madrid derby and countless other mammoth occasions, but knows Friday night's match at Norwich is as important as any, describing it as “a final” and one that could shape the rest of the season.

The Head Coach cranked up the intensity in training this week and was as animated on Wednesday as anyone has seen him in his two spells with this club. His persona is perhaps reflective of a man who knows the significance of what could be a cracker under the lights at Carrow Road and what a first win of the season in a match between the bottom two would do to morale and the outlook. 

“It's a significant match,” he said. “We know perfectly it will decide a lot the future of the team. We know three points is the same against every team but I know three versus this team is significant. It's a big final for both sides. It's not the end of the season, but it's a big final. The result can change the future of both team. It's massive.”

Norwich have lost five of the last six and only won one of the last nine, but their two wins mean they are above the Hornets by two points in the table.

“They are in the same situation as us,” said Sáncehz Flores. “They are positive, stable and able to play very good matches. They are also suffering a little bit, like us, and we are at the same point in the season with similar feelings. We know we need to change this dynamic and this situation. It's about what we can do versus Norwich.”

The Head Coach has been working hard on the training field this week, particularly when it comes to defensive shape, and he upped the ante in an intense finishing drill on Tuesday. He has also been working holistically away from the training field.

“We need to forget negativities, forget that we are a little bit low,” he said. “We need to forget about everything. They can play much better, they can keep the ball much better, they can shoot more time, they can defend more solid. They can do everything much better. We don't feel completely comfortable or have confidence but we are working to get results. Results are everything in sport. Some day we will play well and one day we will score one and they don't score and everything will change. We are working for this day and then everything can change.”

Like everyone else, Sánchez Flores had hoped to have seen a bigger and more noticeable bounce effect since he made a return to the club. It's not been for the want of trying, but he's just been focussing on stabilising the ship and creating a foundation. He has also been hampered by the fact four games had already ticked by and that he did not have a pre-season to get his philosophy across.

“I was thinking it would be difficult,” he said. “I came here to change the dynamic. A good result over the first two matches would have changed everything but we know the programme was difficult. I came positive and I don't feel deflated. I feel very positive and I understand the process of the players.

“We have played against City, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea where the possibilities are reduced. This is not an excuse as we know the programme. We need to accept this. We feel positive, we believe in the players and we are transmitting the values and habits to improve the performance. I have no regrets, I will not surrender and I'm not going to give up until the last day I train.”

Sánchez Flores received some criticism for his third and final substitution against Chelsea and a touch of his explanation behind it got slightly lost in translation as he brought on Kiko Femenía for the tiring Daryl Janmaat as he wanted his team to raid deeper into the Chelsea half down the right. Plus, Isaac Success had only had one session under his belt and there was a desire not to pick up further injury, especially after Craig Cathcart had limped off. But the Spaniard still steadfastly believes shoring up the defence and making his team difficult to beat is the best chance of plotting a route away from danger.

“My biggest concern is to make the team more solid,” he said. “Since February, I think, we have conceded one or more goal per match and means you need to score at least once to draw and sometimes two or three per match to win. To do this every match is not easy. The shortcut is to try and not concede goals. If we don't concede, we are able to win. We were close against Tottenham, against Sheffield and Bournemouth. If you concede it is very, very difficult to be able. This is my first concern.

“We didn't concede for two matches and we didn't deserve to concede versus Tottenham. I want to have a good balance between attack and defence. I have to choose something and this is to be solid as if we won't concede, we are close to a win. This is my idea.”