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With newspaper reports linking Watford captain Troy Deeney with a move away from Vicarage Road in time for next term, now is a good time to back the Hornets to be relegated from the English Premier League.
Watford has been one of the weakest English Premier League teams in the second half of the season. For example, Watford has collected just 19 English Premier League points from its last 20 matches, a tally two points fewer than every team except Middlesbrough and Sunderland. Watford is 15th on the English Premier League ladder going into its Friday game versus Everton and it may not earn another point given that its other matches are against Chelsea and Manchester City.
One is an unabashed fan of collateral form analysis and, according to one’s English Premier League number crunching, Watford supporters should be alarmed at how their team has fared versus the sides around it on the ladder. Of the seven other teams ranked in the English Premier League’s bottom eight, Watford has beaten only Swansea and Middlesbrough in mythical two-leg ties for collateral form figures of 2-1-4.
Scoring goals, particularly away from home, has been a major issue for Watford in the English Premier League. Watford has failed to score in 13 of its 35 English Premier League games and the Hornets are averaging little more than one goal per match. Deeney has contributed 10 of Watford’s 37 English Premier League goals to be the Hornets top scorer, with Odion Ighalo’s pre-season switch to Chinese Super League team Changchun Yatai impacting negatively their attack.
Deeney has no shortage of admirers, there is talk that he does not see eye to eye with Watford boss Walter Mazzarri and, even if the Hornets receive a large transfer fee for him, they will have to pass a significant chunk of it to English League One side Walsall as part of the deal that brought the former prisoner to Vicarage Road in 2010.
West Bromwich is the team being linked to Deeney and those stories make sense. Deeney grew up in Birmingham so signing on the dotted line for West Bromwich would enable him to move back to his roots and he is the type of forward whom Baggies boss Tony Pulis loves. Pulis knows that he needs more firepower if he is going to take West Bromwich to the next level in the English Premier League, which would be making a concerted challenge for a UEFA Europa League and, probably, contesting for one of England’s cups. Pulis is unlikely to go away quietly and, if Watford does part company with Deeney, how are the Hornets going to get someone with his striking and leadership skills? Deeney turned around his life after serving three months in jail for kicking a man in the head during a brawl and now he is a model citizen off the pitch and a strong leader on it, hence why he has been Watford skipper for the last three years.
Apart from Deeney, just Etienne Capoue and Stefano Oakaka have scored more than two English Premier League goals for Watford this term and another cause for concern must be the ownership of the Hornets. The Pozzo family cut their ties with Spanish Primera Division side Granada this time last year and look at how the Nasrids are faring in Spain’s top flight. The Pozzo family are Udinese through and through, whereas Granada and Watford have been business purchases.
SkyBet is the first bookmaker to frame English Premier League relegation odds for next season and one thinks that its price of 7/4 2.75 +175 1.75 1.75 -0.57 about Watford going down may not be surpassed.
Watford to be relegated from the Premier League
Odds: 7/4 2.75 +175 1.75 1.75 -0.57
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