Watford’s goalless draw with Bristol City in midweek saw them lose ground on the top two and they are now four points off league leaders Norwich City.
The Hornets are unbeaten in four but have only notched two points in their last two games and will be hoping to reclaim another win this weekend if they want to see themselves top at Christmas.
Preston North End have been on a win-lose-win-lose streak over the past fortnight or so and find themselves 15th.
They are seven points from the drop zone but will want to increase this cushion and move back up into the top half again with a positive result this weekend.
Watford vs Preston North End Head-to-Head
These two meet for the first time in a league encounter since 2011. They did play each other five years ago when Preston beat the Hornets 1-0 in the League Cup.
Watford have surprisingly failed to beat their opponents in their last four meetings, their last victory over them coming in November 2009.
This will be their 13th Championship encounter. Watford have won two of the previous 12 – both of those on home soil.
Overall, Watford have beaten Preston 11 times in their history, losing on 18 occasions and drawing 13 times.
Watford vs Preston North End Team News
Tom Cleverley has been absent from the last two matchday squads but could return to the bench this weekend.
Andre Gray made a rare start in their midweek game against Bristol City but is set to return to the bench as Vladimir Ivic changes his system for Saturday.
Injured: Isaac Success, Adam Masina, Tom Bele-Bashiru
Doubtful: Tom Cleverley
The visitors will be without Joe Rafferty who picked up a red card against Blackburn in midweek.
Ben Pearson missed that game and remains a doubt for this encounter.
Meanwhile, Darnell Fischer was charged with improper conduct by the FA this week following an altercation with Sheffield Wednesday’s Callum Paterson in Preston’s game last weekend.
He started in midweek but is unlikely to feature this weekend.
Injured: Louis Moult, Ben Davies
Doubtful: Ben Pearson
Suspended: Joe Rafferty
Watford vs Preston North End Predicted XI
Preston North End predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Declan Rudd, Patrick Bauer, Paul Huntington, Jordan Storey, Lewis Coulton, Alan Browne, Ryan Ledson, Brad Potts, Daniel Johnson, Scott Sinclair, Emil Riis Jakobsen
Watford vs Preston North End Prediction
Preston have been impressive on the road this season but this one may just be out of their reach.
Watford will be feeling the pressure of their fans on their necks and will do everything not to go three games without a victory, especially given the big expectations placed on them.
They should walk to their seventh win of the league season.
Prediction: Watford 3-0 Preston North End