So, here we are again. The fifth permanent manager in less than 12 months arrives at London Colney tasked with turning around Watford’s fortunes under the ever watching eyes of owner Gino Pozzo. Watford have an astounding record with managers and despite their tenures often being short-lived, usually Mr. Pozzo has been well supported by the fan base. This sacking feels different.
“We will be supporting Rob come hell or high water” These were Watford Chairman Scott Duxbury’s words back in June 2022 to describe Edwards. Just 10 league games into the season after winning the League Two Title, Edwards is gone. A young, English manager was brought into to build a project and it’s been sacked off so quickly despite a promised change from the board in mentality.
Anyway, enough about the turmoil at Watford. On Sky on Sunday, they travel North to face a Stoke side who also switched manager to Alex Neil in August. With just one win in four, Neil would be in danger of being sacked if he was in the away dugout. The headlines in this game will be off the pitch but with two sides underperforming in mid table there is potential for an entertaining lunchtime kick off on Sunday.
Stoke v Watford Bet Builder Tips
Stoke Double Chance
Despite all the preseason hype and arguably having the best squad on paper, the Hornets have underperformed these expectation majorly and go into this game second favourites. It’s not surprising to see them priced at almost 2/1 without an away win all season, only scoring in 3 of these games.
Their hosts Stoke, haven’t set the league on fire at home this season but with back to back clean sheets they are starting to look formidable under Neil. Former Watford centre back, Ben Wilmot should come back to haunt his former employers given his excellence this season building on the potential he showed at the Hornets. The visitors don’t press particularly highly, recording some of the lowest numbers in the league, which should allow Stoke’s ball players to impact the game more than usually.
Playing against a back 3 has been Watford’s nemesis this season, as they can’t progress play. 60% possession for just 0.67 goals per game shows how Watford lack that transitional midfielder while Imran Louza is injured. Speaking of injury the possible loss of Joao Pedro should really hinder any Watford creative threat. A disjointed attack under a new regime has a real possibility of failing to score on the road yet again landing this leg.
Keinan Davis to have 2+ Shots
For all I’ve just slandered Watford’s chance creators and threat on the road, Keinan Davis has looked a bright spot and was the only Watford scorer last game against Sunderland. Davis is Watford’s best outright number 9, treating Pedro as more of a 10 and is looking to get his second straight loan side promoted having guided Forest to the promised land last year.
Having rewatched Davis’ performance against Stoke last year, it was clear he targeted the spaces between the back 3 and tried to beat them in behind off the last man. In fact Davis, registered his sole shot that game doing that before getting hooked after 50 minutes, something I highly doubt will happen on Sunday.
Sarr and if he plays, Pedro should turn the attention of the wider centre backs to them leaving Davis isolated one on one. The Villa man averaged 2.08 shots per game last season in the Championship and 3.75 this season showing he isn’t afraid to have a pop.
Francisco Sierralta to be Carded
The final leg of our bet builder bumps the odds up significantly with Francisco Sierralta to be carded coming in at 2/1. The Chilean was Watford’s best centre half in their promotion campaign before being neglected in the Premier League by a variety of managers. His return to the back line has seen Watford’s defensive record Improve at the start. However, since the Hornets performances’ have got worse, Sierralta has been more prone to gifting free kicks away.
Sierralta tends to be one of the Watford players showing the most passion, just sometimes he fails to keep a lid on things. Across his career in the second tier, Sierralta has been booked 10 times at a booking every 4 fouls. His opposing number, Liam Delap draws 1.85 fouls per game and should engage Sierralta in a physical battle. If Delap gets the better of the slow starting Watford, I wouldn’t bet against Sierralta lashing out.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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How to watch Stoke v Watford in the Championship
📅 When is Stoke v Watford? / Sunday, 2nd October 2022, 12:00PM
🏟 Where is Stoke v Watford? / Bet 365 Stadium (Stoke)
📺 What TV channel is Stoke v Watford on? / Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Football
🟨 …And who is the referee for Stoke v Watford? / J. Smith 🏴