On Monday, West Bromwich Albion will welcome newly relegated Watford in their second game of the new season looking to kick on from their opening fixtures.
Rob Edwards took charge of his first competitive match for Watford last Monday, in their opening game of their Championship campaign which ended in a 1-0 victory at home against Sheffield United.
Speaking to Watford FC Staff after their victory, Rob Edwards felt “The
commitment, togetherness and spirit of the players was excellent, that’s the minimum you can ask for and they gave us that.” But, what can we take from that initial 90 minutes that will help Watford push for the Premier League once again?
Let’s face it, it looked certain that Watford were going to lose their key attacking force over the summer, but with Ismaila Sarr and Emmanuel Dennis looking as if they are going to stay at least until January, this strike force CAN be deadly.
When you analyse the front three that played against Sheffield United, it’s hard to overlook them as one of, if not the best strike force the Championship will see this year.
Emmanuel Dennis immediately threatened the United backline and constantly put John Egan, Ciaran Clark and Rhys Norrington-Davies under pressure, and was unlucky not to score on numerous occasions. Ismaila Sarr started slow but looked to grow into the game as it went on, but was the most accurate passer (89%) who played 45 minutes or more, creating chances for his counterparts. Finally, Joao Pedro, the goal scorer, man of the match. Don’t get me wrong he still has a lot of work to do, but if Edwards can keep him focused, this could be a blessing in disguise for Watford.
As for the rest of the Watford team, they looked very good, very composed, and were a few standout performances in my opinion, particularly two men at the back. Christian Kabasele and Francisco Sierralta. They kept United’s strikers at bay for most of the game and looked comfortable. It will be interesting to see how they fare against a West Brom side who managed to sneak a point away from the Riverside Saturday.
Albion will be looking to secure just their third win in ten games against Watford on Monday night, with one of them being back in October 2009, where they beat Watford 5-0 in the Championship.
West Brom had a rough start in the first half of their league opener, even though they were able to turn the tie on its head and come away with a point, which was scored by John Swift.
Jayson Molumby is the standout player for me in this West Brom side. A reliable midfielder who featured 31 times for Albion last season. If West Brom are to take any control of this game, it will be a difficult test for the away side on the road.
Both teams will look to kick on from their league opener, and will be interesting to see how these two sides will pan out. West Brom would have had an extra two days as Watford played on the Monday but with it being this early on in the season, it is hard to tell which way this tie goes.
This is the first league meeting between the two sides since March 2018 in the Premier League, with the Hornets winning 1-0 with a goal from Troy Deeney.
Predicted Lineups -
Button (GK), Townsend, Ajayi, O'Shea, Furlong, Molumby, Livermore, Diangana, Swift, Wallace, Grant (4-2-3-1)
Bachmann (GK), Sierralta, Kabasele, Cathcart, Gaspar, Kamara, Cleverley, Kayembe, Sarr, Dennis, Pedro (3-4-1-2)
Watford looked good on Monday, and if Albion start anything like they did in their first half against Middlesbrough, I can see The Hornets pulling away with back-to-back victories. Watford 2-0 West Bromwich Albion.