Swansea v Watford preview: Wilfried Bony pushing for Premier League start
Last Updated: 23/09/17 1:51pm
Wilfried Bony is pushing for a first Premier League start since rejoining the club when Watford travel to Swansea on Saturday.
Bony was named on the bench for league games against Newcastle and Tottenham but impressed his boss from the off in the midweek Carabao Cup win at Reading.
"He is one I am thinking about - I will decide late on that one," Clement said of the striker. "I was pleased with his physical output at Reading. His fitness is good and he is under consideration for a start. Wilfried is keen to make an impact."
Clement is desperate to give the home hordes some cheer after successive home defeats this campaign but knows Watford will arrive bruised following a 6-0 thrashing by Manchester City last time out.
"Watford started the season by drawing with Liverpool and they have had some very good results since then; they have had some good wins and they have a healthy points tally," Clement said.
"They will want an immediate reaction after what happened against Manchester City, because you don't want back-to-back losses."
Clement has selection dilemmas beyond Bony's involvement, admitting he is sure on only "seven positions".
Roque Mesa is pushing for inclusion, while Clement has hinted Renato Sanches could be rested as he continues to adapt to the Premier League.
Ki Sung-yueng has returned to training for the first time since undergoing knee surgery during the summer, while fellow midfielder Nathan Dyer is stepping up his rehab following an Achilles problem but neither will be involved.
Watford will again be without defender Miguel Britos through suspension but right-back Kiko Femenia should be available after missing the Manchester City defeat as a precaution because of a head injury.
Sebastian Prodl (thigh) is stepping up his rehabilitation but Younes Kaboul (hamstring) is not expected back until after the international break.
Fellow defender Craig Cathcart and forward Mauro Zarate continue their recovery from knee problems.
Swansea City have lost just one of their last 10 league home meetings with Watford (W5 D4 L1).
The Hornets' last win at Swansea City in league competition came back in February 1983 (3-1) thanks to goals from Luther Blissett (2) and John Barnes.
The last four Premier League meetings between Swansea and Watford have seen just three goals scored, despite there being 96 shots attempted (3.1% conversion rate).
Coming in to this matchday, Swansea City have attempted fewer shots (30) than Spurs' striker Harry Kane (32) in the Premier League this season, scoring the same number of goals (2).
Five players have attempted more shots on target in the opening five matchdays of the 2017-18 Premier League season than Swansea City (7) - Mohamed Salah (13), Harry Kane (11), Romelu Lukaku (11), Joselu (10) and Sergio Aguero (8).
Swansea have allowed their opponents 74 more shots in total and 22 more shots on target than they have attempted themselves - this is the biggest negative differential by a team in the Premier League this season.
Watford have used 22 different players already this season; a total that only Liverpool can match. In 2016-17, they also used the most players in the Premier League (33).
Watford will be looking to win three consecutive top-flight away matches for the first time in their history, following their wins at Bournemouth and Southampton this season.
The Hornets haven't kept three consecutive clean sheets away in the top-flight since March 1986.
Watford's summer signing Nathaniel Chalobah has already played 270 minutes more in the Premier League this season than he ever managed at Chelsea in the competition (429 v 159).
Andre Gray has scored just one goal and attempted two shots on target in his last 16 Premier League appearances, despite playing 975 minutes.
That 6-0 defeat at home to City will really knock Watford's confidence. They had been doing alright and were probably thinking, 'we're a good team'. Then all of a sudden they were ripped apart and that will hurt.
Swansea got a great result at Wembley but they need to win this game. It's the sort of match they will have highlighted before the season as winnable.
The problem is Watford have been good away from home, they have wins at Bournemouth and Southampton already, and they should get a point at the Liberty.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds 9/2)
Swansea are Sky Bet's 13/10 favourites for the victory with Watford priced at 21/10 while the draw is a 9/4 chance. The Hornets are 11/2 shots for relegation despite last weekend's Manchester City mauling, while their hosts drifted slightly to 2/1 after holding Tottenham to a goalless draw. A wide-open first goalscorer market is led by 4/1 shot Tammy Abraham, while Andre Gray is rated the Swans' main threat at 13/2.
Swansea v Watford is included in this weekend's Super 6 line-up, with £250,000 up for grabs again. Enter your predictions for free here.