Norwich City vs Watford – Preview
Alex Neil says Norwich City cannot afford to make any mistakes when they take on Watford on Wednesday as they aim to keep their bid for Barclays Premier League safety alive.
Norwich sit four points behind Sunderland with two matches to go and they need to beat Watford, while also relying on Sam Allardyce’s men dropping points against Everton, to take their fight against relegation to the final day of the season on Sunday.
Neil acknowledged the Canaries have made too many errors compared to their rivals and has urged his team to improve, with no margin for error remaining.
“To be a team at this level and compete, you’re going to have to limit mistakes across a season,” Neil told www.canaries.co.uk.
“Not only that, you’re going to have to create more chances and score when those opportunities arise.
“There are teams in and about us who manage to do that better than us, and that’s why we’re in the situation we’re in.
“I think we’ve made it really tough for ourselves regardless. If you continue to make bad decisions, then it’s not going to be enough.”
Norwich will be without the injured Jonny Howson (knee), while Andre Wisdom (knee), Timm Klose (knee) and Alexander Tettey (ankle) are also unavailable due to injury.
Watford have been struggling to replicate their impressive form of the first half of the season, but are already guaranteed another year of top-flight football.
They were beaten 2-0 by Liverpool on Sunday after narrowly defeating relegated Aston Villa 3-2 the week before and Ikechi Anya is keen to end the season on a high in their last two matches.
“I feel like we’re just missing that clinical edge that we had at the start of the season,” Anya told www.watfordfc.com.
“As long as you’re making chances, I think that’s a good sign.
“We can still get 50 points. Historically for promoted teams it’s just about staying up and we’ve maintained our status, so we’re now trying to finish as good as we can.”
Watford will be without Valon Behrami due to a rib injury, while a knee problem keeps Etienne Capoue out of action.
Norwich City (from): Kean, Rudd, Ruddy, Bassong, Bennett, Martin, Olsson, Pinto, Whittaker, Andreu, Brady, Dorrans, Hoolahan, Jarvis, Mulumbu, O’Neil, Odjidja-Ofoe , Redmond, Bamford, Jerome, Mbokani, Naismith.
Watford (from): Gomes, Pantilimon, Ake, Belkalem, Britos, Cathcart, Ekstrand, Hoban, Holebas, Nyom, Paredes, Prodl, Abdi, Amrabat, Anya, Dyer, Guedioura, Jurado, Watson, Berghuis, Deeney, Ibarbo, Ighalo, Oulare.
Referee: Roger East Assistants: A Halliday, H Lennard Fourth Official: K Friend
– Watford have won four of their last six league visits to Norwich City (W4 D0 L2).
– Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes conceded six goals against Norwich in the Championship last season, double the amount that he shipped in matches with any other side.
– Norwich had scored in 22 successive league meetings with Watford before failing to find the net at Vicarage Road in December 2015.
– The Canaries are unbeaten in their last 11 Barclays Premier League meetings with promoted teams at Carrow Road (W7 D4), last losing at home to a promoted side in April 1995 (1-0 v Nottingham Forest).