Off a big away win last weekend at Molineux, the Golden Boys returned home, high on confidence ahead of Saturday’s game against David Wagner and Huddersfield Town. The last three meetings haven’t gone as planned for the Hornets, dropping all three to the Terriers, including a 4-1 thrashing at the Vic and a 1-0 in the away game. This season though, Huddersfield have been terrible, win less on the season, scoring just 4 goals and conceding 17 ahead of Saturday’s fixture.For Watford, Javi Gracia had no changes to the starting XI used last weekend against Wolves. Issac Success partnered with Gerard Deulofeu up top, as the two played very well the previous week. Defensively, Adam Masina and Adrian Mariappa were justly rewarded for their past play. This was also a different Watford team at this point in the season, compared to last. There’s much more positive energy around the Vic, as Gracia has lots of decisions to making when many of the players are in form.
One player out of form, Troy Deeney. The captain didn’t travel last week and was left off the squad due to a nagging hamstring. While the Hornets miss his on pitch presence and leadership, Success has been outstanding all season, making appearances in the previous eight matches before getting the start in the last two fixtures. His play on Saturday mirrored what Deeney can do. The Nigerian held up play, showed pace and determination on the ball. The ball in from Kiko Femenia was set up for Success to convert the Hornet’s third goal. Even when Deeney is healthy, Gracia will have some tough personnel decisions to make.
Success wasn’t the only Hornet playing well on the day, his strike partner, Deulofeu is playing like a man possessed, with great determination to make a positive contribution to the team. It took only 19′ and Deulofeu stunned the Vic with an improbably angled shot, as he took on defenders, leaving them standing still. His shot, near the end line beat Lossl.
The Watford attack went through a slow period in the run up to the last two weeks. Lack of goals and frustration started to creep in, even when the Golden Boys were putting in a good effort. Roberto Pereyra seems to have found his shooting boots again, out of the international break, where he picked up a goal for Argentina.
Off his goal away to Wolves, his first in a Watford jersey, the Argentine returned to fine form, where he displayed excellence control and ball skills cutting inside, from the left, seemingly skipping by Huddersfield defenders to slot the ball through Lossl’s legs to put Watford up on the stoke of 10′. It was his fifth goal of the season. He looks to have regained some confidence and form.
Defensively, it wasn’t as clear cut a win as it should have been, which had Ben Foster post a season high 7 saves on the day. Foster was my man of the match, playing a vital role for the Hornets, managing the defense and keeping a clean sheet. Two big saves in the first half helped pace the Hornets and prevent the Terriers from climbing back into the game.
It was a bit of a surprise not to see Jose Holebas return to the starting XI, as Adam Masina retained the job. Why I don’t think this will be the norm, Masina played good against Wolves, but started off shaky in the game, to the point I felt he was going to be a liability down the left. His counterpart, Kiko Femenia played very well and was a threat down the right flank all day long. He picked up his first assist on the season, with a half-volley that was buried by Success.
Watford are on 19 points after 10 games, their best start to any Premier League season. While their fixtures stiffen, they have the opportunity to pick up more points as they travel to Newcastle and Southampton.