Watford host Wolves at Vicarage Road this weekend as they attempt to bounce back from two straight defeats in the Premier League.
Prior to the international break, Xisco Munoz’s side lost to Brighton and Tottenham without scoring a goal as they failed to build on their 3-2 win against Aston Villa on the opening day of the campaign.
They now face a Wolves side who have lost all three of their Premier League games without scoring a goal. Bruno Lage’s team were beaten 1-0 by Tottenham, Manchester United and Leicester, with Watford now looking to compound their misery.
Xisco could need to make alterations to his team in order to have the best chance of picking up a positive result against Wolves. One change he could make is in the right-back position, with Craig Cathcart having failed to impress in the opening three games.
The 32-year-old has created zero chances in the Premier League and made one error leading to a shot. He is a centre-back by trade and this has shone through in his performances, which means that it could be time for Jeremy Ngakia to be handed his chance to start.
The 21-year-old came off the bench in the second half to replace Cathcart against Tottenham and was given an impressive SofaScore rating of 7.1 for his display, as he made four tackles and two clearances. Last season, he created 10 chances in 18 starts in the Championship and averaged a score of 6.96 for the Hornets.
He also has prior Premier League experience and, in 2020, former West Ham player John Moncur heaped praise on the full-back and compared him to Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
He said: “There is a rawness about him obviously but he’s got a lot of natural talent if you look at you know, he eats the ground up, he looks good at times going forward. He reminds me a little bit of Wan-Bissaka a little bit, he’s leggy and he’s a good defender.”
As Moncur said, Ngakia covers ground and is capable of being a threat in the final third. Adding his qualities to the team at right-back ahead of Cathcart, who has struggled thus far, could be a game-changing decision from Xisco this weekend.
The 21-year-old’s energy and attacking drive down the right flank could change the game for Watford as Cathcart has been unable to offer that as of yet. The youngster could drive the Hornets up the pitch and increase their chances of scoring by creating overloads down the right and potentially setting up his teammates for chances with his crossing.