December 03, 2015

High-flying Watford will be wary of Norwich City after the Canaries were on song when these teams met in the Championship last season heading into these sides' first Premier League meeting Saturday at Vicarage Road.

The class of the Premier League newboys has been Quique Sanchez Flores' Hornets, who sit comfortably in 11th place in the table on 19 points. Watford consigned Aston Villa to a 3-2 victory last Saturday.

Flores took over for Slavisa Jokanovic, who departed after guiding the Hornets back into the top flight. The Serb's Championship campaign included a pair of 3-0 defeats to Norwich City, with Lewis Grabban scoring three of the six goals as he tallied a brace at Vicarage Road. That hasn't escaped the attention of the Spanish boss.

"We know about the history last year for Norwich against Watford, they won at home, they won away," Flores told Watford's official website. "They have a very good team and they played very well last year in the Championship, so we respect a lot this team."

In addition, the Canaries dumped the Hornets out of the League Cup with a 3-2 victory at Vicarage Road in 2013-14.

Alex Neil's side are winless in their last six league road fixtures, conceding 16 goals with two draws and four defeats.

Norwich were happy to grab a point in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Arsenal at Carrow Road as Grabban scored the equaliser late in the first half.

"I think the balance of play today was a bit better, I think we had more possession of the ball," Neil said. "And I think working it forward, we tried creating clearer opportunities. We're just disappointed we didn't take one of them towards the end and maybe pack up the three points, if we could."

Norwich were encouraged by a command midfield display by Robbie Brady, who assisted on Grabban's tally and continues to adjust to life by the River Wensum after coming over from Hull City.

"The one thing about Rob is he never misses a training session," Neil said. "He's a good lad, he listens to what you're telling him and then he goes out and he tries his best every single match. And as a manager, you can't ask for anymore than that."

Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes may return after being stretchered off in the Villa match with a serious neck injury.

"He is making a good recuperation," Flores said. "I think that maybe today or tomorrow we will have good news from Heurelho, but we need to wait until the last moment for the opinion of the medical staff."

Flores would prefer his first-choice keeper since the Hornets' defence has shipped six goals in the last three fixtures.

Odion Ighalo notched his eighth league goal against Villa to match Tottenham's Harry Kane for third in the league. Ighalo and Troy Deeney have combined for 83 shots to match the league's third-highest total among teammates.

Canaries defender Sebastien Bassong has played every minute of every match. He played 11 times on loan for Watford last season as he makes his return to Vicarage Road.

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