Meet the opposition | Watford

23rd September 2019
First team

As Swansea City prepare to take on Watford in the Carabao Cup, we take a closer look at the Hornets.

What's their story?

Abdoulaye Doucoure

Formed in 1898 from the merger of Watford St. Mary’s and West Herts, the Hornets are currently enjoying their fourth straight season in the top-flight following promotion to the Premier League in 2015.

This is their longest continuous spell in the top tier aside from a golden era in the early 1980s where they finished second in the First Division in 1983 before losing the FA Cup final to Everton a year later.

They are in their third stint in the Premier League, having previously been relegated after solitary campaigns in 1999-2000 and 2006-7.

Their 11th place finish last term was their best in the Premier League era and they also reached the FA Cup final, only to suffer a 6-0 defeat at the hands of treble-winners Manchester City.

How’s their form?

Troy Deeney

Disappointing. Watford sit bottom of the Premier League without a win to their name, with their only victory so far this term coming in the Carabao Cup.

The Hornets have two points from their first six games, but suffered an 8-0 defeat to Manchester City at the weekend.

Their poor start as seen Javi Gracia dismissed, and a familiar face return to the Vicarage Road dug-out.

Who’s the boss?

Quique Sanchez Flores

Quique Sanchez Flores. The godson of the great Alfredo di Stefano, the Spaniard returned to Watford when Gracia left the club during the recent international window.

It’s his second stint in charge of the club having led them to a mid-table finish and an FA Cup semi-final during the 2015-16 season.

The 54-year-old has also managed in his homeland, Portugal and China, having spells with the likes of Benfica, Atletico Madrid and Valencia.

He won the Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup in 2010 with Atletico Madrid, beating Fulham and Inter Milan respectively. He has also won the Taça da Liga, also known as the Portuguese League Cup, in 2009 with Benfica.

During his playing career, the defender played for Valencia, Real Madrid and Real Zaragoza, winning La Liga with Madrid in 1996.

He also won 15 caps for his country, and was part of the Spain squad for the 1990 World Cup in Italy.

Who are the key men?

Gerard Deulofeu

Club captain and stalwart Troy Deeney is in his 10th season with Watford and is an influential figure on and off the field, scoring over 120 goals for them during that time.

Gerard Deulofeu is a product of the famous Barcelona La Masia academy. The former Everton winger has started every league game this season so far and hopes to continue his fine end to last season which included a match-winning display in the FA Cup semi-final win over Wolves.

Abdoulaye Doucoure is another vital figure in the middle of the park, regularly impressing with displays of real authority since his arrival from Rennes in 2016.

Roberto Peyrera enjoyed an excellent campaign last term, showcasing his eye for a goal and ability to beat defenders on his trademark slaloming runs, while defensively they have the experience of Ben Foster to call upon in goal, as well as Craig Dawson and Craig Cathcart.