Meet the opposition | Watford

6th May 2021
First team

As Swansea City prepare to round off the Championship season at Watford, we take a closer look at the Hornets.

What’s their story?

Watford fell back down to the second tier of football after five Premier League seasons, but have ensured a solitary one-year stay in the Championship by securing promotion this term.

Their best season in the top-flight was under Javi Gracia in 2018-19 where the Hornets finished 11th and reached the FA Cup Final, ultimately losing heavily to Manchester City.

They enjoyed their finest period under Graham Taylor in the late 1970s and early 1980s, climbing from the bottom tier to the top and reaching the 1984 FA Cup final.

How's their form?

Andre Ayew

Outstanding, no club has taken more points than the Hornets have since Xisco Munoz was appointed boss.

They have won 16 of their last 23 games, losing just four of them to secure automatic promotion.

Their home form has been particularly excellent, with just two league defeats at Vicarage Road all season.

Who’s the boss?

Xisco Munoz

Xisco Munoz. Spaniard Munoz was appointed Watford boss earlier this season after Vladimir Ivic’s brief five-month spell in charge was brought to an end by the Vicarage Road hierarchy, and has overseen an impressive upturn in form.

The former Valencia, Real Betis, Levante and Dinamo Tbilisi winger retired from playing in 2016 and held a number of assistant manager roles before taking charge of Tbilisi earlier this year, and now finds himself leading the Hornets back to the Premier League.

Who's the captain?

Troy Deeney

Troy Deeney. Striker Deeney is the man with the armband, and has been skipper since the beginning of the 2014-15 campaign where his 21 goals helped guide the Hornets to Championship promotion.

However, an Achilles injury has seen him sidelined since February, with Tom Cleverley and Nathaniel Chalobah among those the lead the team in his absence.

Deeney has donned the Watford jersey over 400 times in league action, in turn netting over 130 goals, the most famous of which was the injury-time winner against Leicester City in the Championship play-off semi-final in 2015. He has previously played for Walsall and Halesowen Town in his senior career.

Who are the key men?

Ismaila Sarr

Watford’s midfield of Tom Cleverley, Will Hughes and Dan Gosling have dovetailed superbly and their collective efforts have played a big part in their revival in form.

Ismaila Sarr has been their outstanding offensive weapon, netting 13 goals and setting up four more, while teenager Joao Pedro has nine goals and three assists to his name.

In defence they can also call on the top-flight know-how of Craig Cathcart, Kiko and Adam Masina.