Year Formed

1881

Stadium

Vicarage Road

Capacity

21,500
 

Last 10 years league finishing positions

 
 

Best Season

2015/16

Only Leicester City's incredible title triumph overshadowed Watford's campaign. In their first season back in the Premier League, the club never looked like being relegated. At one point Watford were even being talked about for potential European qualification, but they ultimately had to settle for their best ever Premier League points total (45).

 

How they fared last season

With Quique Sanchez Flores at the helm and a team led by captain Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo, Watford were flying early in the campaign and took 29 points from their opening 18 matches. Their form would eventually drop away somewhat dramatically, but safety was more than secured.

40
number of goals
scored last season
50
number of goals
conceded last season
3
red cards
73
yellow cards
 

Team Strengths

Firepower.

Deeney and Ighalo set the Premier League alight at times last season, so much so that both have been linked heavily with moves away from Vicarage Road.

Deeney had already performed consistently at Championship level and the step up proved no barrier.

He scored as many league goals (13) as Alexis Sanchez, while Ighalo netted 15 to be equal seventh in the goalscoring charts.

Deeney also contributed seven assists in what was a brilliant campaign.

However, the goals dried up for Ighalo late in the campaign – and Watford's form suffered.

If the Nigeria international and Deeney are firing again, there is reason for optimism for new head coach Walter Mazzarri, who replaced Flores.

The Italian would like to get the best out of the duo, as well as the likes of midfielders Valon Behrami, Mario Suarez and Etienne Capoue.

 

Weaknesses

A new coach – one also working abroad for the first time – and the prospect of continuing on from the awful finish to last season.

The decision to sack Flores came as a surprise to some, with captain Deeney describing it as "crazy".

Flores guided the club to safety, but also oversaw 12 losses from his final 20 league games in charge.

Mazzarri arrives having previously been in charge of Inter Milan and Napoli, but he will need to adapt quickly.

He cannot afford Watford to start this campaign like it finished the last, or the Hornets will be at risk of relegation and playing catch-up.

Flores was able to manage a squad of numerous nationalities – upward of 20 – and that shapes as another huge challenge for Mazzarri, needing to make his players want to work for him, and each other.

 

Formation

Watford opted for a direct approach last season, choosing effectiveness over flamboyance.

 

Star Player

Troy Deeney has stepped up time and time again for Watford over the past four seasons in particular.

The Englishman was involved directly in 20 goals for his team in 2015/16, with 13 of those him finding the net, although six came from the penalty spot.

Quick and strong, Deeney is an all-round striker, and his ability to set up team-mates was highlighted with his seven assists last campaign.

He is capable of dropping a little deeper if needed for his side, and that can only help his combination with Ighalo.

Deeney was imprisoned in 2012 but has turned his life and career around.

He impressed in the Championship to lead Watford into the top flight and took no time to settle at a higher level.

 

Walter Mazzarri

Manager

Something of a risk given Flores's job at the helm, Mazzarri was appointed on a three-year deal as the Spaniard's replacement.

The Italian, a former midfielder as a player, was unemployed after being sacked by Inter in November 2014.

Most of his success came with Napoli, leading the club to a runner-up finish in Serie A in 2012/13 on the back of 29 goals from Edinson Cavani.

Mazzarri prefers to play with a three-man defence and on the counter-attack, and that could well suit Watford with Deeney and Ighalo up front.

He has worked to improve his knowledge of the English language and that will be much needed in a multicultural dressing room.

Mazzarri has shown before that he can inspire smaller clubs and the Hornets will hope this stint is no different.