Club Crest - Watford 2016-17

Watford were one of the pre-season favorites to suffer relegation last season. In addition to a new manager the club brought in a whole host of new players and there were concerns whether the team would be able to gel in time. Against all predictions & odds the club got off to a flying start to the campaign that saw them in 7th place heading into Christmas.

The hornets were not able to build on their strong start and ultimately finished 13th in the table. The poor 2nd half to the campaign also resulted in manager Quique Sanchez Flores being let go at the end of the season. The 2016-17 season has pretty much started the same way as the previous one. The club had appointed former Napoli and Inter manager Walter Mazzarri as manager who in turn has brought in several new players to the club.

Watford will be gunning for an another mid-table finish and if possible a good run in one of the domestic cup competitions.

Watford 2016-17 Season Preview

Italian Walter Mazzarri

Walter Mazzarri (Pic Cou: Skysports.com)

Since Gino Pozzo had bought the club in 2012 the number of players and managers that have gone through the club is outrageous. 54 year old Walter Mazzarri is the club’s 7th manager during the Pozzo era. The Italian manager who had successful stints with the likes of Sampdoria and Napoli has never managed outside Italian football up until now. Watford promises to be a stern test for the Italian and it remains to be seen how he will adapt to the Premier League.

Quique Flores had brought in as many as 13 new players last season. Apart from Sebastian Prodl, Miguel Britos, Valon Behrami and Etienne Capoue none of the other newcomers were able to make an impact. Most of them have either been sold or either send back after their loan period to accommodate the incoming players this season.

On first look the the additions they’ve made do look sensible. The defense which was suspect at times last term will be fortified with the arrivals of Younes Kaboul, Adrian Mariappa and Daryl Janmaat. The additions of Jerome Sinclair and Isaac Success will provide options upfront [1] which were too dependent on Troy Deeney and Ighalo last season.

Mazzarri has a decent enough squad at his disposal. Areas which did look weak before the transfer window has been addressed well enough. If the team does manage to come together then Watford are capable of surprising a few.

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Squad Breakdown

Heurelho Gomes was outstanding for the Hornets last season. The 35 year old pulled off game winning performances more often than not & featured in all their league games. Gomes will start as the No.1 but the club has a more than able back up in Costel Pantilimon.

Sebastian Prodl, Younes Kaboul and Miguel Britos are three quality center backs who can feature in Mazzari’s preferred 3-5-2 formation. Craig Cathcart, Adrian Mariappa and Christian Kabasele are the other options at the center. Daryl Janmat will feature at right back while Jose Holebas should feature at Left back ahead of Juan Camilo Zuniga.

Ben Watson was one of the surprise packages for Watford last term. It has to be seen how the 31 year old will feature under Mazzarri. Another one to keep an eye on is Nordan Amrabat. The 29 year old Moroccan International came in last January and will be hoping to put his best forward this season.

Valon Behrami had a decent first season with the club but was too inconsistent. Like Behrami, Etienne Capoue was another one that impressed in stints but lacked consistency. The duo will need to step up their game with the likes of Roberto Pereyra & Ikechi Anya threatening to break into the 1st team.

Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo were brilliant for Watford last season. The duo combined to score 28 of Watford’s 40 goals last term. It’s safe to say that the Hornets were over dependent on the duo but have addressed this concern by bringing in youngsters Isaac Success and Jerome Sinclair to serve as back ups.

Watford 2016-17 Season Prediction

It’s been a poor start to the campaign for the Hornets. After a opening day draw against Southampton the club have suffered back to back defeats against Chelsea and Arsenal. Mazzarri has gotten his first taste of the Premier League and must now act accordingly as the club prepares for the schedule after the International break. The clubs faces West Ham and United in their next two games after which the club has relatively easy run of games.

A second season of changes will come back to haunt Watford. Mazzari will struggle to turn things around and despite a mid season managerial change the club will end up suffering relegation.

Verdict: – 18th Place

Player to Watch – Watford 2016-17

Captain Fantastic Troy Deeney

Troy Deeney (Pic Cou: express.co.uk)

Troy Deeney

Watford’s captain fantastic. Troy Deeney has been the only constant in what has been a ever changing Watford squad. Having started his career with non league side Halesowen Town, Deeney’s rise up the English ladder is a story of it’s own. The 28 year old impressed in his debut season in the Premier League as his work rate and work ethic were second to none. The striker can be counted on to deliver again and we see him ending up with a tally of 12 or more goals.

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Betting Tips – Watford 2016-17

1. Premier League Champions – 1501.00 (Coral)

Nope!

2. Relegation – 3.25 (Stanjames.com)

Burnley & Hull City, two clubs who were favored to go down this season have gotten off to a decent start. Three games into the season no club has emerged as a clear relegation favorite. While the defeats suffered by Watford were against Chelsea and Arsenal one has to wonder how a group players who have come together in recent weeks will be able to gel together as a team. We are picking Watford to get relegated and the odds on offer are good enough for the gamble.

3. To Stay Up – 1.44 (Betfair)

Poor Odds! Risky Bet!

4. Top 10 Finish – 9.00 (William Hill)

Last season a team that was predicted to suffer relegation ended up winning the title. While we can’t see Watford recreating Leicester’s feat [2] they do have a team capable of achieving a Top 10 finish. It’s a gamble but there always is a underdog story to every season.

5. Bottom Half Finish – 1.11 (Skybet)

Not Worth the Gamble!

6. Bottom at Xmas – 4.50 (Stanjames.com)

They may be bad but not that bad. So Nope!

7. First manager to leave post – 11.00 (Skybet)

Given Watford’s history of changing managers, Walter Mazzari is a strong candidate to get sacked even before the club kicked off for the 1st time this season. Keep an eye on how Watford does in their first 10 games and then place the bet if Watford find themselves in one of the relegation spots.

All Odds Courtesy of Oddschecker [3]

Transfers In – Watford 2016-17

Transfer In

Sl No Position Player Fee – From
1 STR Issac Success 11 million Granada
2 STR Jerome Sinclair _ Liverpool
3 STR Stefano Okaka _ Anderlecht
4 MF Kenedy Loan Chelsea
5 MF Roberto Pereyra 15 million Juventus
6 DF Christian Kabasele 7 million Genk
7 DF Juan Camilo Zuniga Loan Napoli
8 DF Brice Dja Djedje 3.5 million Marseille
9 DF Younes Kaboul _ Sunderland
10 DF Adrian Mariappa Free Crystal Palace
11 DF Daryl Janmaat 8.8 million Newcastle United

Watford – 2015/16 Stats

Pos Team Played Won Lost Draw GD Points
13 Watford 38 12 17 09 -10 45

Other Season Prediction and Betting Tips

Tottenham 2016-17 Season Prediction and Betting Tips

External Resources

[1] Buzznigeria.com, Watford Sign 20 Year Old Isaac Success

[2] theguardian.com, Leicester Win the 2016-17 Premier League

[3] Oddschecker.com, Oddschecker Home Page