The hornets were big favourites to go straight back down last year, but they had top flight safety pretty much confirmed by Christmas following a flying start. Odion Ighalo had a big hand in that, and he’s stuck around this term after Watford slapped a hefty price tag on their star man to fend off interest from other clubs. Only Shanghai SIPG met the asking price, but Ighalo didn’t fancy a season of chicken chow mein and has stayed put, which is good news for Watford. One person who has flown the hornets nest though is Quique Flores. Despite keeping them in the premiership quite comfortably, the Watford board and Elton John felt it was time for a new circle of life (sorry) and sacked Flores in favour of Walter Mazzarri. The Italians impressive history gives Watford fans some hope, but a lack of any well known signings will probably mean that survival is the sole target for the yellows this season.

Key man: Odion Ighalo

Best signing: Ighalo and Troy Deeney on long term contracts

Verdict: 13th

By Darren Wells


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