All you need to know about Watford
Key Player: Troy Deeney
There are plenty of players with their hat in the ring to be considered Watford’s key player, with a strong spine featuring the experienced Ben Foster between the sticks, French central midfield duo Etienne Capoue and Abdoulaye Doucoure, as well as the attacking talents of Troy Deeney, Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra.
However, the latter raised eyebrows with his inclusion in the latest Argentina squad having gone off the boil since Christmas as he’s yet to score in 2019 so far, and it’s Deeney and Deulofeu that give us cause for concern.
The captain has been productive of late with three goals and as many assists from four appearances (which works out at a goal or an assist for every 46 minutes he was on the pitch), while Deulofeu managed four goals and two assists across these same four matches (working out at a goal or an assists every 42 minutes having spent less time on the pitch).
However, 11 of Deeney’s 14 goals or assists across all competitions this season have come on the road and the 30-year-old will prove a real handful at set-pieces.
Weak Link: A Stranded Left Back
Watford play a narrow 4-2-2-2 formation which has brought them considerable success this season, but no formation is perfect and all have their weaknesses to exploit, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could do with looking at how Jurgen Klopp masterminded a 5-0 win over the Hornets at Anfield a month ago.
The narrowness of their midfield can be demonstrated by a league-high of 31% of their attacks coming through the centre, with ‘wingers’ Roberto Pereyra and Will Hughes drifting infield to overload the middle.
The former is a creative force for the team on the left-hand side, but he often leaves the full-back behind him exposed, and doubling up down that flank should be targeted.
Solskjaer has done so before with both Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford handed such tasks this season, and left-back Adam Masina should expect a busy afternoon.
Watford’s woeful record versus the ‘Big Six’
The Hornets’ position in the league table owes much to their results against the teams below them, as they’ve continued to struggle when encountering the top sides just as they have in previous years.
They’ve lost each of their last eight league encounters with the ‘Big Six’ this term, which includes all four on their travels as they’ve now gone a pitiful W1-D1-L20 when visiting such teams since they were promoted back to the Premier League ahead of the 2015/16 season.
Indeed, it’s now 13 defeats on the bounce since February 2017, with 10 of these coming by at least two clear goals as they trailed at the break in nine.
*all odds are subject to change