To survive, Watford must replicate some decent away form during the five highly-appealing home matches that are left.
Currently, the Hornets are down in 18th place, having played twice more than the sides surrounding them. Not only that, those two play each other on Wednesday – Burnley and Everton.
After winning on the opening day and amassing four by Gameweek 12, Watford then lost six successive outings. A draw at Newcastle preceded a 3-0 home defeat to Norwich, ending Claudio Ranieri’s brief reign. Immediately, Roy Hodgson came in with an intent to fix their leaky defence and his first match in charge brought their first clean sheet of the season – at the 21st attempt.
There were three successful shut-outs during his first six matches, all away from home. In fact, their form on the road has been decent since Hodgson became their third head coach of the season. Two wins and two draws from seven visits, snatching victories at both Aston Villa and Southampton.
However, what they need to do is win games at home. Their last eight have all ended in defeat, only delivering seven points from 14 matches at Vicarage Road. We can see that Watford’s final run includes five at home, thanks to Fantasy Football Scout’s Fixture Ticker.
Following yesterday’s announcement of Double Gameweeks 36 and 37, it’s now confirmed that they will host Leeds, Brentford, Burnley and Everton over a vitally-important next five rounds.
Ben Foster (£4.1m) is FPL’s most-chosen goalkeeper, due to starting the season with the lowest possible £4.0m starting price whilst actually getting minutes each week. Despite these fixtures, he is still likely to just be back-up for squads with Aaron Ramsdale, Jose Sa and Robert Sanchez. The opponents of Gameweeks 35 and 36 will surely tempt some into starting Foster, though.
Watford’s defence is untouched, with midfielder Moussa Sissoko (£4.4m) selected for similar reasons to Foster. The 2.7% ownership of Ismaila Sarr (£5.7m) is likely just inactive teams who bought him following four goals in the season’s first six matches. By Gameweek 7, he was in 1.58 million teams.
Nevertheless, it’s up front where their assets will gather interest. Forwards across the game are having a poor time so, in the eternal battle between prioritising form or fixtures, managers may as well put faith in Watford’s huge home clashes. Question is – which one?
For so long, Emmanuel Dennis (£5.9m) was the answer. His first 17 games brought eight goals and six assists at a bargain price, hence a place in over 3.5 million squads. Yet his last 12 outings have seen just one goal involvement and a very unpopular red card that kicked-off Double Gameweek 23.
Josh King‘s (£5.7m) popularity was big, considering he’d not scored from his last 13 starts. That place in Hodgson’s line-up has now gone to Cucho Hernandez (£5.1m). The Colombian scored and assisted at Aston Villa before netting twice to defeat Southampton. If – and it’s a big if – he’s a definite starter, it’s probably worth taking a punt on a cheap striker with supreme home games.