Watford will resume their Premier League campaign at their fabled Vicarage Road after a satisfying start, performance wise, to their season last week at Everton. The Hornets, on the back of a high-octane 2-2 draw in what is usually a tough place to go and get a result at, certainly showed that they firmly belonged in the top division of English football and will look forward to getting their first win on board when they face Pulis’ West Bromwich Albion on Saturday evening. Manager Quique Flores sounded mighty impressed by his side’s display post-match, clearly delighted to be involved in the Premier League, also looked forward to his first home game in charge of Watford with an air of excitement and self-assurance in his pre-match presser. He said:
“I’m expecting the fans to create a great atmosphere at the stadium in our first official match here this season, and the aim is obviously to get a good result to please them. We have to try and keep the players’ confidence up in every match so we have the chance to win, be competitive and get the three points”
West Bromwich Albion, on the other hand, suffered a home defeat at the hands of a ruthless Manchester City side, will travel to newly-promoted Watford, determined to get a result and recover from a poor start. Not often do we see a Tony Pulis side concede three goals at home, but it was a flawless performance from the visitors that did the damage as much as the manager’s error of judgement with regard to the team selection, which was quite atypical, if anything. But the mood around the Hawthorns will have been lifted, thankfully, with the arrival of new signings and it would be interesting to see whether one or all of them get involved and make a telling contribution to a good result during the weekend.
It looks like Flores won’t have any major problems on the injury front as most of his key players are fit and raring to go for Saturday’s first home fixture of the season. Although midfielders Berghuis and Abdi (calf) could be sidelined for West Brom’s visit owing to minor injuries.
Tony Pulis will have his entire squad to pick his team from barring only a couple of absentees in Gareth McAuley (calf) who has almost recovered completely and goalkeeper Ben Foster (ACL) who is out for a longer term and is expected to be back by October, at the earliest.
|EC||05-04-2010||FT||Watford||1 : 1||West Bromwich Albion|
|EC||31-10-2009||FT||West Bromwich Albion||5 : 0||Watford|
|EC||12-04-2008||FT||West Bromwich Albion||1 : 1||Watford|
|EC||03-11-2007||FT||Watford||0 : 3||West Bromwich Albion|
|EC||31-01-2004||FT||West Bromwich Albion||3 : 1||Watford|
|EC||23-08-2003||FT||Watford||0 : 1||West Bromwich Albion|
Watford – WWLLD
West Bromwich Albion – WWWWL
Troy Deeney – Watford
Troy Deeney has made the leap to the Premier League following a hugely successful season with Watford in the Championship, scoring 21 goals in 37 appearances, playing the role of a catalyst to perfection in the Hornets’ long-awaited return to the top division. He also managed to set up 9 goals when not scoring them himself inspite of being able to complete just 62% of his passes at the rate of 1.5 key passes per game. But it will be fascinating to watch, as a neutral, if he could replicate the same in a league as tough and competitive as the Premier League as he is the man the Hornets rely on for game-changing goals and a bit of tenacity in front of goal especially in games at the Vicarage Road where they usually are a tough nut to crack.
Rickie Lambert – West Bromwich Albion
Following a very good season at Southampton where Lambert scored 13 goals and assisting 10 more, the English international managed to earn a return to his boyhood club Liverpool, where things didn’t quite work out as well as he would have imagined. A season marred by inconsistencies in front of goal that saw Lambert start only 7 games in the league for the Reds and coming off the bench 18 times meant the transfer was imminent and a move to West Bromwich Albion could not have come at a better time, where he could get more minutes on the pitch that could reinvigorate him and help him rediscover some form that he was in, at Southampton. With the looming exit rumours of Saido Berahino, it’s up to Lambert now to take up the mantle alongside the record signing and rack up the goals, that would win games for the Baggies, starting from Saturday.
If you fancy a stalemate between the two sides you can back it up with a bet on BetVictor, priced at 23/10. Otherwise you can place a bet on a home win at 5/4 on Bet365 or an away side bounce-back at 23/10 on UniBet.
It’s a tough game to call in fairness. I’ll put my money on Albion stretching their unbeaten run to 7.
Watford 1-1 West Bromwich Albion