Totally Buzzed is previewing every single Premier League team ahead of the 2021/2022 campaign and now it is the turn of Watford.

How last season went:

Mission accomplished! Following their relegation from the Premier League in the 2019/20 campaign, Watford no doubt had their heart set on securing an immediate return to the top-flight and they did just that. The Hornets finished 2nd in the Championship in order to win promotion and while they missed out on winning the league title, Norwich City finished six points ahead, which likely didn’t cause too much disappointment. As for other competitions, the Hornets didn’t really have much to cheer, with winning promotion clearly the main target. Watford exited the EFL Cup at the third round stage after losing 3-1 to League Two outfit Newport County and the Hornets also exited the FA Cup at the third round stage with Manchester United defeating them 1-0 to oust them from the tournament.

Watford’s Championship Stats – 2020/21:

Watford Player Stats – 2020/21:

Top Scorer Across All Competitions: Ismalia Sarr – 13 goals in 40 appearances (0.33 goals per 90minutes, 271 minutes per goal)

Top Scorer – Championship Only: Sarr – 13 goals in 39 games (266 minutes per goal)

Most Assists Across All Competitions: Ken Sema – 5 assists in 43 matches (1.09 chances per 90minutes) and Philip Zinckernagel – 5 assists in 21 matches (0.76 chances per 90minutes)

Most Assists – Championship Only:  Sema – 5 assists in 41 outings and Zinckernagel – 5 assists in 20 outings

Most Tackles Per Game (On Average) – Championship Only: Jeremy Ngakia (2.5 tackles per game)

Most Minutes Played Across Premier League Fixtures – Top 3:

  1. Sarr – 3464 minutes 2. Sema – 3286 minutes 3.Kiko Femenia – 3036 minutes

1st five league fixtures:

Aston Villa (H): Villa and Watford last clashed in the Premier League in January 2020, with the Villans recording a 2-1 win over the Hornets at Villa Park. However, the last time the two sides clashed at Vicarage Road, in December 2019, Watford recorded a comfortable 3-0 win over Smith’s side, despite having to play roughly 30 minutes of that match with only 10-men on the field.

Brighton (A): Watford have failed to beat Brighton in their last three meetings. The last meeting saw the duo go head to head in February 2020 at the AMEX Stadium, with the game ending 0-0. In the meeting before that, Brighton swept aside the Hornets at Vicarage Road as they recorded a comfortable 3-0 win.

Tottenham (A): Tottenham couldn’t beat Watford in the 2019-20 season, the last time the Hornets were in the Premier League, as the pair drew 1-1 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before their game at Vicarage Road ended 0-0.

Wolves (H): Wolves lost 2-1 to a 10-man Watford side when the teams last clashed at Vicarage Road, however it’s worth noting their last match came back on New Year’s Day 2020 and a lot has changed about both clubs since then.

Norwich City (A): Despite Norwich finishing above them in the league last season, the Hornets got the better of Daniel Farke’s men on the two occasions they clashed. The Hornets racked up a narrow 1-0 win at Vicarage Road in December, before repeating that result at Carrow Road in April.

Watford Fan Perspective: Mike (@MikeDuffy_26 on Twitter) from the Voices of the Vic Podcast (@VoicesOfTheVic on Twitter)

Best Player: Ismailia Sarr, the pace he has on him is frightening. A huge part of getting us promoted again at the first time of asking. Will find a lot of joy against full-backs this season and will undoubtedly be a major goal threat for us.

Promising Youngster: Joao Pedro, he impressed mightily last season for us in the Championship. His first full season in England football and for it to be in the 2nd tier which is known for its physicality is very impressive. He put on 7KG of muscle in order to cope with the demands and as the season went on he learned to position himself better in order to be clinical in the box. A clear run of games is what Joao needs and if he gets that this season then I’ve no doubt he will stand out as one of our star players.

The player who is likely to surprise people (underrated/less known): Francisco Sierralta, the Chilean Rock at the back. Bare in mind that Sierralta was drafted into the starting 11 in Xisco’s first game in charge, at home to no other than league leaders at the time, Norwich City due to injuries to other defenders. He played in a couple of early-round Carabao Cup games and wasn’t good at all but the inclusion at Norwich didn’t see him move from the squad from there on in. Excellent in the air, a real old-fashioned center-half and not afraid to challenge for an aerial duel. He came under the radar a little last season but this season, should he continue to play the way he did, he will catch the eye to a wider audience.

Thoughts on the manager: Xisco Munoz as a person is an absolutely top bloke and a brilliant character. You can tell he has the dressing room on his side, you can tell he’s always got time for all his players. He has an infectious smile and is a likeable guy. I do actually think we have a manager here who CAN last the season and who CAN keep us up. I do worry a little bit in terms of his lack of experience in the Premier League and in English Football in general but I think there’s enough about him and his motivational ways to keep us in the division this season.

Worried About/Weakness: I actually owe an apology to my co-host of the podcast, Ben, here because when he suggested this on our latest episode I was quick enough to shut the idea down but I will admit now that we probably could do with another centre back. I worry that our options at back up/ options to challenge for places is a little weaker than we’d perhaps like it to be. I also think we need a striker that will get us 10/15+ in the division. Easier said than done, I know, but someone with a bit more attacking pedigree who knows the league. Josh King could very well be that man however as he did score 16 for Bournemouth in the Prem one season but it’s a question with him as to whether he’s going to rack up that game time.

Dream Transfer: What’s Cristiano Ronaldo doing wasting his time at Juve when he could be gracing the pitch at The Vic? (Just kidding!!) I’m going to combine my dream signing with my realistic one purely because I feel that I’d be able to give a more sensible answer here. So with that in mind, I really think we’d benefit from taking Eddie Nketiah on loan from Arsenal. He’s a fox in the box type of player and with Sarr and Sema/King supplying him from out wide and Louza & Etebo supplying him through the middle I just think he’d be the perfect type of player and also a player who has experience in this division.

Player I fear leaving: Nathaniel Chalobah & Will Hughes. Hughesy has already turned down a new contract offer whilst Chalobah is awaiting and exploring other options. Both played a vital part is getting us back to the Premier League and would leave a void in our midfield which was so strong for the best part of last season.

League expectation: Expectation is to stay up. Simple as. If you’re a team who have just been promoted your goal first and foremost is to make sure you are 17th or above. We can all have dreams of Europe etc but you have to start somewhere.

League prediction: Can’t remember exactly what I said on my prediction pod but as of today I’m going for 14th/15th. Nothing too high and certainly nothing too low. A lot of people, our own fans included, believe it or not, are already tipping us for relegation. I believe we have a team at the moment that can keep us in this division and with a couple more addition I think the squad will be complete.

Biggest Rival This Season/Love It If We Beat them: There’s three for me. Crystal Palace, Arsenal & Aston Villa. Palace because they seem to be rattled by us all the time about everything and it’s really fun beating them. Arsenal because my boss/ best mate is an Arsenal fan and he’s done nothing but constantly tell me that “Watford are going down this season” and lastly, Aston Villa because I myself am a Brummie and therefore have lots of Aston Villa supporting mates and it’d be good to get bragging rights this season after they stayed up last season.

One thought on “2021/22 Premier League Preview: Watford”

Comments are closed.