Watford could end up claiming a Europa League spot this season
Watford have made a splendid start to their Premier League campaign under Javi Gracia. The Hornets have picked up 3 wins from their 3 opening games. They have been playing an attractive brand of football and this could see them finish in a Europa League spot this season.
Burnley surprised the world when they managed to do the same last season, and it could be the Hornets who could defy the odds this season. Playing an expansive style of football, Watford have been deadly going forward.
Javi Gracia has adopted a 4-2-2-2 system in the Premier League this season. It’s a formation scarcely used by managers but it seems to be paying dividends for Watford at the moment. The likes of Jose Holebas and Daryl Janmaat have been given the license to surge forward at will.
Holebas is already enjoying a good run in front of goal, with the defender picking up his first goal of the season in the previous game. He has also provided 2 assists so far. Holebas has been one of the standout performers for the Hornets in the early stages. (Stats Courtesy – Whoscored)
The left-back has been defensively solid as well, boasting a 100% tackle success rate in all three games. Daryl Janmaat has also played a crucial role in a number of goals. The Dutchman’s supply has been vital in the final third. (Stats Courtesy – Premier League)
Sitting right in front of the defenders are Etienne Capoue and Abdoulaye Doucoure – two of the most talented central midfielders in the Premier League. The latter has been in prime form since last year while Capoue seems to have resurrected his career this season.
Both of them have been on spot with their distribution and non-stop running so far. Doucoure is sometimes seen right on the edge of the box, waiting to smash one into the top corner.
Capoue is more of a direct runner with the ball. The former Tottenham man bulldozes his way through the defenders before picking out the perfect pass in the final third.
Things have been clicking well in the attack as well. Roberto Pereyra has been in fine form since taking up an advanced role this season. Will Hughes is also benefitting from a regular role under the manager. Andre Gray is yet to hit full throttle while the influence of Troy Deeney remains unrivaled.
Most of all, Watford are more than secure at the back with a man like Ben Foster in goal. Foster has been supreme over the last few games, making a number of match-winning saves to keep the opposition at bay.
Burnley showed that a well-drilled and organised backline is key to finishing high up the table. That’s exactly what Watford are replicating this season and with the Europa League spots always up for grabs, it might be the Hornets who could qualify this season.