Watford FC 2017/18

‘A game of two halves’ is one of the oldest clichés in football gut for Watford it was a season of two halves a year ago.

The Hornets began life under Walter Mazzarri relatively well but their form at the end of the season was shocking enough for the club to announce that they would be looking for a new manager even before the final game was played.

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Mazzarri is a prickly character and there were rumours of all sorts of problems behind the scenes. The man tasked with repairing those problems is Marco Silva.

Silva was a relative unknown in England when he took over at Hull City last season. But everybody knows about him know after he made an instant impact at the club, improving their performances and making some astute signings.

Hull may have been relegated but Silva’s personal brand grew much stronger thanks to his short time at the club.

This time around, Silva has a stronger group of players to work with and Watford fans are hoping that he will finally be the manager that the club’s hierarchy decide to stick with for the medium to long term.

The way that Watford is run – with a high turnover of managers and as part of a global network of clubs – does not endear them to other football fans. But, if Silva has the same sort of impact in Hertfordshire as he did in Yorkshire, the Hornets should spend this season more concerned with the top half of the table than the relegation battle.

Squad List

  • Heurelho Gomes
  • Costel Pantilimon
  • Giedrius Arlauskis
  • Daniel Bachmann
  • Miguel Britos
  • Younes Kaboul
  • Tommie Hoban
  • Sebastian Prodl
  • Adrian Mariappa
  • Craig Cathcart
  • Juan Camilo Zuniga
  • Daryl Janmaat
  • Jose Holebas
  • Christian Kabasele
  • Brandon Mason
  • Andrew Eleftheriou
  • Tom Cleverley
  • Valon Behrami
  • Nathaniel Chalobah
  • Abdoulaye Doucoure
  • Will Hughes
  • Ben Watson
  • Etienne Capoue
  • Carl Stewart
  • Dion Pereira
  • Kiko Femenia
  • Roberto Pereyra
  • Nordin Amrabat
  • Troy Deeney
  • Isaac Success Ajayi
  • Mauro Zarate
  • Alex Jakubiak
  • Stefano Okaka
  • Jerome Sinclair
  • Andre Gray

Season Predictions

Andre Gray became the latest player to sign for Watford in the week before the season begins. The former Burnley hitman could be just the sort of striker that the Hornets need to propel them up towards the top half.

Will Hughes and Nathaniel Chalobah also look to be very good signings but there are still areas of the Watford squad that need improving.

If the Pozzo family who own Watford have any intention of making Silva’s role at the club last beyond one season, good things could be on the horizon for the Hornets. However, they’re not going to be pushing for European football in the next couple of seasons so a solid campaign in which they take small steps forward would rate as a success.

Best Bets for the Season

Watford to finish above Newcastle at 13/8 with Ladbrokes

Watford to finish with over 38 points at 11/8 with Bet365