Football Tips: Watford to blunt Derby in our 3 best bets for Friday’s game

Our tipster Colin Harvey dissects what could be Wayne Rooney's toughest test as a manager so far.


*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

Wayne Rooney’s Rams are on the march but they will come up against a fearsome foe in the shape of Watford on Friday night. Derby are up to 17th while Watford are right back in the automatic promotion hunt after some good form and are 4th going into this one.

This is the two in-form teams in the second tier but something’s got to give at Vicarage Road. Derby have won five and lost one of their last six while The Hornets have won five of their last eight, drawing two and losing one.

Friday 7.45pm: Watford v Derby
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While The Rams have been picking up valuable points in their good run, Watford will be the best team they have faced since shocking Bournemouth back in January. The Hornets have also had a fairly kind run but they are superb at Vicarage Road and sit top of the season-long home form table.

Derby are solidly midtable in the away league but the vast majority of those points have come in the last few weeks. This will be a fascinating encounter and offers most of us the first chance to take a look at Rooney the manager. Here’s your three best bets for Friday night’s game.

Wayne Rooney Derby County Stoke City December 12, 2020

Watford To Win to Nil

As good as Derby have been recently it’s impossible to go against a Watford Win in this one. As mentioned previously they have the best home record in the league and have failed to win on just four occasions over the 15 matches in their back yard.

They’ve scored 30 and conceded 11 with a theme being that they’ve been winning to Nil. Their five last home wins have all come to Nil with the most impressive of those coming against Norwich. Derby’s away form is mixed and, while it’s getting better, we should see another comfortable Watford Win to Nil.

Both Teams To Score? No & Under 2.5 Goals

Other than Watford’s 6-0 demolition of Bristol City last weekend they generally get the job done at home in solid-if-unspectacular fashion. We know how good they are defensively at home and they take on a Derby side with a newfound resilience. You have to go back to November for the last time The Hornets scored more than two at home prior to last weekend.

I was keen to tip up Both Teams To Score? No and/or Under 2.5 Goals but the prices are too short. However, with those two combined we’re getting a decent price. Crucially, Derby won’t roll over like Bristol City did but they might not have the quality to breach The Hornet’s backline. Both Teams To Score? No and Under 2.5 Goals covers us for five outcomes (1-0 or 2-0 either way or a 0-0 draw) in what I’m expecting to be a low-scoring game.

Joao Pedro to Score First

Joao Pedro has been a bit quiet recently but the 19-year-old got back amongst the goals during the week, scoring Watford’s winner from the spot in the 1-0 triumph over Preston on Tuesday. There’s no doubt the Brazilian teenager has talent but he showed he’s got the mentality to go far as well by winning the game for his side under the ultimate pressure.

Troy Deeney had been on spot kicks but he’s not featured in the last two Watford games. Assuming Deeney remains on the bench again then Joao Pedro to Score First is a smart bet, especially with the spot-kick duties, in what could be a low-scoring affair.

Tips for Watford v Derby

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.


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