Watford host Everton in today’s evening kick off at Vicarage Road. the game kicks off at 5:30pm. Watford are 11th in the table, while Everton are ninth. This is how the sides line up:
Watford: Karnezis; Janmaat, Mariappa, Prödl, Holebas; Doucouré, Capoue; Deulofeu, Pereyra, Richarlison; Deeney
Subs: Gomes, Britos, Femenía, Zeegelaar, Carrillo, Gray, Okaka.
Everton: Pickford, Martina, Keane, Williams, Kenny, Davies, Gueye, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Walcott, Niasse
Subs: Robles, Schneiderlin, Bolasie, Tosun, Calvert-Lewin, Holgate, Garbutt
If you had said a few months ago that Watford could be in danger of being relegated at the end of the season, people would have thought you were mad. They were flying at the start of the season, and at one stage looked like they would comfortably finish in the top half of the table. But just two wins from their last 14 league games leaves them just four points clear of the bottom three. It’s been an awful run from them, and it all seems to stem from Marco Silva being chased by today’s opponents when Everton were on the hunt for a new manager. The Toffees were chasing the manager of a team that were challenging the top 6 sides at one stage, and his head was obviously turned and results suffered afterwards. He was then sacked, and Javi Gracia was brought in, but there hasn’t been a great deal of improvement since. Watford did beat Chelsea at the start of the month, but that’s been his only win since taking over.
I think the Hornets will be OK, as I think they’re too good to go down. They need to turn their results around though, and today’s game in front of their own fans gives them an opportunity to do that.
Javi Gracia said: “I don’t like to speak about relegation. I only focus on the next match.
“We need three points against Everton. We try to get to 33 points first; to look so far ahead is not the best way to play our matches.
“I think with the backing of our support we will be able to achieve our objectives.”
Everton are just four points ahead of Watford, but I don’t think the threat of relegation will be worrying them. I don’t think they’ll even be close to going down this season, barring a complete collapse from them. A win today could move them into seventh, ahead of Leicester and Burnley, and into a likely Europa League qualification spot. I think that will be their aim to be honest, and they can definitely manage that. They’ve won two of their last three, and have looked quite impressive lately. With Burnley, Brighton and Stoke coming up after this, they have a chance to rise higher in the table. Their focus will be on today’s game though, and they’ll be expecting to win it.
Sam Allardyce told EvertonTV: “The big problem was the away form being highlighted by our heavy defeats at Tottenham and Arsenal. You can be beaten by those sides but you should not be defeated so heavily.
“In my time, it is won one, drawn two and lost three [away from home], which is better than the previous away record.
“We have an opportunity at Watford to go and get points. Let’s make sure we get those points on the board and try to improve the results away from home – and continue our great home form.
“The task for us in any away game is very difficult, based on the fact we have struggled to get results. I may have improved the away record since I have been here, but certainly not as much as I would have liked.
“It is a big challenge for us at Watford, to get ourselves right mentally. I think it is more about having a stronger mental approach – can we perform away like we do at home and get the result we are looking for?”
I think this one will be interesting, and it’s a game I’m looking forward to. I think either side could win it to be honest, and it’s too tough to call. Everton will more than likely be a bit cautious going into an away game, but hopefully they won’t defend with everything they have. If they’re told to get forward and try to win the game, we could be in for a cracker.