Norwich City must come up with the antidote to tame Watford’s deadly duo
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City know all about the threat of Watford's fearsome front two, but Alex Neil believes he has the antidote.
Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo have plundered the majority of Watford's Premier League goals since their top flight return, but Seb Bassong and Ryan Bennett looked the real deal last weekend to help thwart Arsenal at Carrow Road.
Neil is encouraged by signs of a growing understanding between the pair, but warns the duo will face a different test against the Hornets.
'We need to keep the front two quiet, basically. Out of the 15 goals they have scored as a team this season they have 12 of those between them. They are a potent threat,' he said. 'We need to make sure we are set-up to counter-act that and carry our own threat and we have been working on that this week.
'My two have been in good form recently. We are going to depend on them more probably for the aerial threat, which is something they are not used to in this league, and we'll see how they cope with that but my two lads are more than capable.
'Defensively, the centre backs have done well and we have to continue to see that improvement. You can talk about partnerships but potentially you go into this game and one of them makes a mistake or doesn't do well and you are thinking that partnership has cost us, so it has to be a continuation of their recent form.'
Deeney and Ighalo appear to have made a smooth Premier League transition after spearheading Watford's promotion success.
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'I think the way they play suits them,' said Neil. 'The ball goes from back to front very quickly and they are depending on the front two upsetting teams. Deeney uses his strength and power and Ighalo plays off him. When you are clinical it doesn't matter what level you play at - particularly Ighalo you give him an opportunity he does find the back of the net.
'If you look at them and Leicester it can be brave (to play two strikers) but its not as if they are playing right up top and being gung ho, they can sit deeper and hit you. They are comfortable with it and it has served them well so far.'
Norwich head to Vicarage Road six points behind the Hornets and Neil accepts these are the battles that will define the Canaries' campaign.
'Yes, I don't think there is any question,' he said. 'The fact they got promoted with us and they are six points ahead means we want to make sure we try and cut the deficit. They are certainly a team we need to look at and hopefully be above come the end of the season. You need to make sure you pick up points from the teams that are going to be in and around you. It is absolutely crucial.'