West Bromwich Albion vs Watford. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats and more
West Bromwich Albion will host Watford in the EFL Championship match at the Hawthorns Stadium. The fixture will take place on August 9, beginning at 00:30 IST.
Mondays are always not particularly rich with football events. The English Premier League and most of major domestic leagues are back. But almost everywhere the 1 Match Week will be ended on Sunday, so if you are looking for something special for this night – we are ready to suggest you one particluarly interesting encounter that is set to be played in the England`s second best football league.
West Bromwich and Watford, who once flaunted the Premier League, are looking to lift our mood after a hard working day. This match represents perhaps the highlight of this Monday’s football – be prepared to see interesting fight of the clubs that are setting themselves ambitious objectives and definitely intend to return to the Premiership next season. Let’s find out what they have in store for us.
Parimatchnews will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.
West Bromwich Albion News & Current Form:
From 2010 to 2018, the club was able to successfully compete in the EPL and reach minimal objectives, but then the Throstles fell into a certain decline in which they were facing the difficulties in reaching the top flight. In 19/20, the Blues and Whites managed to get the promotion from the Championship and went to test their strenghts among the biggest clubs of Europe again, but after the season of struggle the team dropped back to a more familiar level.
The reason for that, by and large, should be seen as increased competition in the Premier League, where even the nominal mid-tier sides now allow themselves to spend £100m in the transfer windows – and with that kind of spending and quality players, they are still struggling at the bottom of the table – there is nothing guaranteed and certain in the EPL these days, so the situation for newcomers is often fatal. It’s a titanically difficult task to stay in the elite right now.
Of course, they wanted to give it another try, but in the 21/22 season the reliance on Valerien Ismael not only didn’t work, it almost put the club in a crisis situation. The club was underperforming really bad. As a result, experienced veteran Steve Bruce came to rescue the club in the winter and only managed to finish in 10th place.
Surely Albion are keen to make a difference in the new campaign. But, the cornerstone problem has been the club’s finances – firstly, the squad has not been particularly strengthened in terms of ambition. Yes, they signed Okay Yokuşlu and a couple of other players as free agents, in addition to paying around a million for Jayson Molumby from Brighton’s structure.
But this is not enough, considering Sam Johnstone has left the camp, the management were not able to convince the Manchester United product to extend the contract. The team’s most expensive player, who were rescuing the team on numerous occasions, moved to Crystal Palace, desiring to play in a more spiffy league. The goalkeeper was even called up to the national team even given the huge competition, who will replace him is a big open question. So far, the Throstles were only able to get off to a 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough without him.
Watford News & Current Form:
The Hornets represent an even more classic example of a ‘lift club’ in English football. Although they have managed, like West Bromwich, to enjoy a good run in the Elite for some time, the club has been in a storm since 2019. As good as they are doing in the Championship, so bad are they doing in the Premier League. The owners – the Pozzo family – who make very abrupt and unreasonable coaching changes and player transfers play a big role here. Sometimes without even explaining the reasons. The obvious problem: the managerial crisis, the lack of any long-term plans and vision.
Last season, after being relegated from the EPL, the club once again saw a change of coach. This time they opted for a little-known specialist, Rob Edwards. The 39-year-old Welshman had previously worked in a modest, albeit unusual, project, Forest Green. On his arrival he faced a difficult situation – many Hornets leaders have departed: Joshua King, Moussa Sissoko, Kiko Femenia, Andre Gray, Ben Foster, Adam Masina.
However, Villarreal’s ‘Senator’ Mario Gaspar, who was even invited to the Spanish national team in 2015, has moved to Vicarage Road. Ben Hamer, Rey Manai and Issouf Bayo have also joined the squad. The later one, RSC Charleroi forward, became a record signing this summers as things stand (€5.80m), as others came for free.
Ismaila Sarr, the Hornets’ record signing, is the team’s main star. Availability of the attacking leader is key to offensive play. Now he is fit and likely to be the main asset of the season. Although there are rumours that top clubs are actively interested in the player and the transfer window is still open.
The new cycle started with a victory, albeit a minimal one: a 1-0 win over Sheffield United on home soil. Joao Pedro scored the only goal of the game in the 56th minute. It could be said that the team made the most of the encounter, as the advantage proved to be less than significant.
West Bromwich Albion form guide: L-W-D-W-W-D
Watford form guide: L-D-L-W-D-W
West Bromwich Albion vs Watford Head-To-Head Record:
They last crossed paths in 2021, when their friendly ended in a nil draw. Yet they have not played an official match since the 2017/18 EPL season.
- March 2018: Watford 1-0 West Bromwich Albion (Premier League);
- September 2017: West Bromwich Albion 2-2 Watford (Premier League);
- April 2017: Watford 2-0 West Bromwich Albion (Premier League);
- December 2016: West Bromwich Albion 3-1 Watford (Premier League).
West Bromwich Albion vs Watford Predicted XI:
West Bromwich Albion possible starting lineup (4-2-3-1): David Button, Darnell Furlong, Semi Ajayi, Dara O’Shea, Conor Townsend, Alex Mowatt, Jake Livermore, Jed Wallace, John Swift, Matt Phillips, Daryl Dike.
Watford possible starting lineup (3-4-2-1): Daniel Bachmann, Christian Kabasele, Francisco Sierralta, Craig Cathcart, Hassane Kamara, Tom Cleverley, Edo Kayembe, Yaser Asprilla, Ismaila Sarr, Emmanuel Dennis, Joao Pedro.
Statistical preview os the match:
- Three of the last four head-to-head matches have seen a match total less than two goals.
- Watford have not won in 9 of the last 10 away games.
- Watford have scored less than 1.5 goals in each of their last 4 Championship away games.
- West Bromwich Albion has scored less than 2.5 goals in 19 of the last 20 home games.
- Watford have made less than 4.5 shots on target in 9 of the last 10 away games.
What has been said before the match:
Rob Edwards, Watford Head gaffer:
“There’s been a good vibe around the training ground. After a win it’s always a good feeling and it’s important to not get carried away, especially in the Football League. It will be another very difficult game, West Brom are always a formidable force, and Steve Bruce is a very good manager. They’ve recruited some good players and they will be a difficult team to get the better of. We know it’s going to be difficult, especially at their place, but it’s one we’re looking forward to and I think it’ll be difficult for them too.”
Steve Bruce, West Bromwich Albion gaffer:
“I think Watford will be one of the best teams in this division this year, but you would expect that from them after coming down from the Premier League. They’re very strong, certainly in forward areas where they have plenty of pace and are a real threat. We’re going to have to defend well, but I’m hoping we can cause them problems too at the other end with the quality we’ve got. It should be a cracking night involving two of the best teams in the Championship.”
West Bromwich Albion vs Watford Prediction:
In a clash between two ambitious and equally strong teams, the home team has a slight advantage. However, we expect maximum concentration in defence – both teams want to clinch any tournament points, while being far from their optimum form. Now, they are better prepared to play defensively and cautiously. WBA will try to force the visitors to take initiative and play with more men at their half. Steve Bruce is very fond of playing as number two and this was clearly evident in the Middlesbrough game. It is not the best scenario for Watford, as it will force them to open up, and it is unlikely that they will be as reliable in defence as they were a week ago.
Parimatch News staff prediction:
We say: West Bromwich will not lose and the match total less than 2.5 – Yes.