Watford mark their Premier League return with a home fixture against Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon, with Xisco Munoz’s side hoping to kickstart with three points against Dean Smith’s side.
Following automatic promotion from the Championship last term, Watford have added a number of players to their squad, with summer signings Emmanuel Dennis, Danny Rose, Josh King, Peter Etebo, Juraj Kucka and Imran Louza all hoping to play a big part throughout the season.
However, in recent Premier League seasons, we have seen Watford fail to keep faith in those who got them promoted, and it will be interesting to see how many changes Xisco opts to make from those who performed so well in the second tier last season.
Here’s how Football FanCast expects the Spanish manager to line up his side at Vicarage Road today, with four players making their Watford debuts…
Kiko Femenia, William Troost-Ekong and Francisco Sierralta were all regulars in the Championship last season and will likely keep their places in defence, with Rose making his competitive Hornets debut after joining on a free transfer from Tottenham Hotspur earlier this summer.
In the absence of Will Hughes, who has been banished to the under-23s amid an ongoing transfer saga, Xisco is likely to name a much-changed midfield, with Etebo and Kucka making their debuts alongside a mainstay from last season in Tom Cleverley.
Ismaila Sarr’s performances are likely to be a big factor for Watford this season and he starts on the right-wing, with new signing Dennis earning a start on the left, although he could be pushed up front at some point in the game.
They support Troy Deeney in attack, with the 33-year-old proving in pre-season that he is fit and ready for the new campaign, and he will be looking to add to the 47 Premier League goals he has in his career thus far.
That leaves no place in the starting XI for Ken Sema, who played the second-most league minutes of anyone at Watford last season but could miss out today due to the influx of new competitors for his position out wide.
In other news… Watford transfer news is confirmed, fans will be fuming