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Watford a worrying bogey team for buoyant Bournemouth

Championship leaders Bournemouth have beaten 11/4 promotion chances Watford just once in all competitions since 1977, yet Coral make Eddie Howe’s Cherries odds-on 17/20 favourites for three points.

With the Hornets drawing the last two head-to-heads 1-1, a share of the spoils is 13/5 and that precise scoreline a 6/1 shot. The visitors are a tasty 10/3 to upset Bournemouth, who have lost three of their last four matches going into this clash.

Is that a sign that Howe’s Cherries are running out of steam in their bid for Premier League football? Watford, meanwhile, are certainly enjoying some stability under ex-Chelsea midfield anchor Slavisa Jokanovic following managerial madness earlier in the campaign.

His Hornets have been in rampant form, hitting 12 goals in their last two league outings. Both were at home, however, though putting five past Charlton Athletic and finding seventh heaven against Blackpool are clear indications the Hertfordshire side has serious promotion credentials.

Chiefly responsible for these demolitions is Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo, with a frightening return of six in two. Based on those stats, he is fabulous value at 2/1 to score anytime, and faces a Bournemouth backline that has kept just three clean sheets in the last 13.

Ighalo is also an awesome 11/1 for two goals or more once again, which is an out-of-this world price on a player experiencing the mother of all purple patches.

Supplementing him could be set piece source Gabriele Angella, who has three in two career starts against the Cherries. The Italian defender is well worth considering at 8/1 in the anytime market.

Usual suspects Troy Deeney (2/1 to score here), who has a hat-trick against this opposition on his CV, and Matej Vydra (better at 11/4) have also been on target in the recent drubbings handed out by Watford, so there is plenty to worry Howe’s defenders.

Cherries leading marksman Callum Wilson has netted their last couple of goals, and they have rounded off the scoring in two of the previous three matches. He is somewhat short at even-money in the anytime market, but much better at 4/1 to have the final say again.

Midfielder Harry Arter has posted some eye-catching form in front of goal lately too, scoring in every league game in December. It’s a sumptuous 7/2 for him to be on target again here.

A glut of goals looks to be on the cards, so back the total to be over 3.5 at 13/8.