Last season: 17th
On December 10, Watford beat Everton 3-2 to go seventh in the Premier League table.
It proved to be as good as it got for Walter Mazzarri’s men as a second-half slump saw them slide down the division and almost lose their place in the top flight.
That collapse, which included them losing their final five matches, was enough for the Hornets board to make a change, with Mazzarri replaced with Marco Silva at the end of the season.
Silva had impressed despite failing to keep Hull City up and his appointment is probably the club’s main reason to be optimistic going into the new campaign.
The club have signed a number of talented youngsters this summer and how the 40-year-old bloods them into the first team will be key.
Glass half full: Former Hull City boss Marco Silva looks a shrewd appointment while Will Hughes and Nathan Chalobah are both talented youngsters who are hungry to prove themselves in the Premier League.
Glass half empty: Watford finished last season with six straight losses and it is very difficult to get out a losing rut in a division as demanding as the Premier League. The club lack quality in attack and, if Deeney gets injured, it is difficult to see where the goals will come from.
New kids on the block: Tom Cleverley – Everton, Will Hughes – Derby, Kiko Femenia – Alaves, Daniel Bachmann – Stoke, Nathan Chalobah – Chelsea, Harvey Bradbury – Portsmouth, Sam Howes – West Ham.
Left the building: Mario Suarez – Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng FC, Rene Gilmartin – Colchester, Mathias Ranegie – released, Ola Adeyemo – released, Charlie Bannister – released, Ogo Obi – released, Rhyle Ovenden – released, Josh Roe – released, Treon Johnson – released, Andrew Thomas – released, Dennon Lewis – Crawley (loan), Aly Malle – Udinese.
The gaffer: Marco Silva – Former Sporting CP and Olympiacos boss Marco Silva failed in his bid to keep Hull City in the Premier League last season but won many plaudits with the way he went about his business and for getting the most out a game but limited squad. He’ll hope that, with a full pre-season under his belt, that he’ll be able to keep Watford away from the danger-zone this time around.
Star man: Troy Deeney – The Hornets skipper was less effective last season but was still the only Watford player to get into double figures in the goals column. The 29-year-old also plays a vital role in holding up the ball and could benefit from Marco Silva replacing Walter Mazzarri, with whom Deeney reportedly had a testy relationship.
One to watch: Tom Cleverley – The former Manchester United youngster has never really hit the heights that were expected of him but showed glimpses of what he could on loan last season so a permanent move to Vicarage Road could be just what he needs.
Premier League Title Odds: 1000/1
Top Four Odds: 250/1
Relegation Odds: 15/8
Top Goalscorer Odds: Troy Deeney 6/4
Star Bet: Watford looked on course for a decent finish in the Premier League last year but after ending the season with six consecutive defeats they were one spot off relegation and six points clear of the drop. The board decided to change managers again for the second summer running and have brought in former Hull City boss Marco Silva who impressed despite The Tigers’ relegation. Troy Deeney finished the season as club’s top goalscorer and despite the signing of Richarlison from Fluminense he can repeat that feat this time round. Watford top league goalscorer – Troy Deeney 13/8.
First five games: Liverpool (H), Bournemouth (A), Brighton (H), Southampton (A), Manchester City (H).