Following a spectacular Championship campaign, Watford have secured a promotion to the Premier League after they were relegated in the 2019/20 season. The Hornets finished second in the Championship last season and conceded the fewest goals (30) in the division.
Characterised by a formidable defence throughout last season, Watford were not the most attractive on the pitch, but, made themselves difficult to beat. The Hornets finished with the highest number of clean sheets (23) and accounted for the highest clean sheet percentage (50%) in the Championship last season.
With an abundance of talent and experience in their squad, Watford will be keen to remain in the Premier League next season. Given the value-for-money options in their squad, Watford have a reliable pool of players to choose from for FPL managers.
In this series, we scrutinise every team in the division, picking out economical performers, helping you in your quest to become the ultimate FPL manager.
Francisco Sierralta (£4.5m, DEF)
Having had a remarkable first season at the club, the 24-year-old Chilean centre-back established himself as a starter last season. Sierralta made 26 appearances last season, having scored one goal and contributing to 14 assists during the campaign.
In addition, the Chilean also had the most shots from inside the box (18) amongst Watford’s defenders last season. With Watford keen to remain in the Premier League on the back of a remarkable Championship campaign, Sierralta may prove to be a decent pick provided the Hornets can replicate their defensive form from last season.
Joao Pedro (£5,5m, FWD)
The club’s second-highest scorer (9) at the club last season, the 19-year-old Brasilian forward finished the campaign having made the second-highest appearances (38) amongst his teammates. In addition, the forward ranked second for goal involvements (11) at the club last season.
With the ability to play off the flanks and through the middle, Pedro is an influential attacker in the Hornets’ forward line. In addition, the forward also had the second-most shots on target (26) and shots from inside the box (57) at the club last season.
Moderately priced at £5.5m, Pedro may emerge as a consistent fourth-choice midfielder provided he can find his feet in the Premier League.
Ismaila Sarr (£6.0m, MID)
Arguably, Watford’s most talented asset, the Senegalese winger is a vital part of the club’s promotion to the Premier League. The 23-year-old was the club’s highest scorer (13) in the Championship and recorded the most goal involvements amongst (17) last season. In addition, the winger also had the most shots on target (33) at the club last season.
Sarr also started the highest number of games at the club (39) last season. In addition, the winger also boasts Premier League experience having scored 107 points – netting five goals and seven assists – in the 2019/20 season.
Sarr also created the highest number of big chances (11) and had the most shots from inside the box (62) amongst his teammates in the Championship last season. In addition, the winger was also the second-most fouled player (10) in the championship last season – five leading to a penalty.
Available at a decent price, Sarr offers a valuable route into the Watford attack. However, given the winger’s tendency to show only glimpses of his potential, Sarr may be a test of patience amongst FPL managers. Nevertheless, given his ability, the winger will yield substantial returns, but, is a hit-and-miss option amongst mid-fielders in his price range.
Kiko Femenía (£4.5m, DEF)
Having cemented his place as Watford’s starting right-back, the 30-year-old Spaniard made 37 appearances for the club last season. In addition, he managed to record four assists and had the third-highest shots (11) amongst defenders at the club, in the Championship, last season.
Part of a formidable Watford defence last season, the player provided defensive stability while also managing to make forward runs while on the attack. Femenía accounted for the highest attempted assists (30) amongst defenders at the club, in the Championship, last season.
Provided the Hornets succeed in maintaining their defensive stability going into next season, Femenía may emerge as a valuable option given his attacking capabilities and the team’s probability of keeping a clean sheet going into next season.
Daniel Bachmann (£4.5m, GK)
Having played the same number of games (23) as his teammate Ben Foster (£4.0m) between the sticks, the Austrian international kept a better record in goal compared to his teammate last season. Bachmann conceded four-less goals and had a higher save percentage (76.1%) than Foster in the Championship last season.
Additionally, the 27-year-old keeper also kept three more clean sheets (13) than Foster last season. Watford’s first choice keeper for most of last season, Bachmann is expected to be the club’s starting keeper in the Premier League – despite rumours of Foster starting instead.
Nevertheless, given his record in the Championship, Bachmann may prove to be an unexpected find in the goalkeeping position provided he maintains his good form and Watford can replicate their defensive form ahead of next season.
Watford faces Aston Villa (H), Brighton (A), Tottenham (A), Wolves (H), and Norwich City (A) in their first five games of the 2021/22 Premier League season.