Football Premier League 2018-19

Are Watford the new Leicester?

Football is a funny game. Let me take you back in 2015. It’s the first week of September and a certain someone who seems to be a Leicester City supporter is about to have his first sip of the tea. While sipping the tea on what looks to be a beautiful day, he thinks – ‘We are currently 2nd in the league. Is it possible that we might go on to win the league?’

He takes another sip. Before he could answer the first question in his own head, another jigsaw has seemed to arrive. This time it’s – ‘Is it worth putting my £10 on Leicester to win the league? Should I take the chance? 5000-1 seem fancy, eh?’ The tea is finished. So is the doubt. He has gone with his gut feeling and taken the chance.

Is the story getting boring? Let’s time travel then.. It’s April 2016 and the Leicester fan who put £10 is about to cash out £50000.

Leicester City won the 2015-16 Premier League in a staggering fashion.
Leicester City won the 2015-16 Premier League in a staggering fashion.

Leicester City won the 2015-16 Premier League in a staggering fashion. The Foxes wrote their name in Premier League’s folklore with a stamp of authority. They made sure that people take their example when the phrase ‘It-only-happens-once-in-a-lifetime’ is used.

4 wins out of 4. Are Watford the new Leicester? Can they pull it off?

Troy Deeney's goal is the most iconic in Watford's history
Troy Deeney’s goal is the most iconic in Watford’s history

Watford are off to a perfect start with 4 wins out of 4. Javi Garcia’s men are joint top with Liverpool and Chelsea. They defeated Brighton, Burnley and Crystal Palace with ease. What followed was a huge test for Troy Deeney and co. They were facing Spurs and with nothing to lose, Watford defeated the North Londoners in a famous comeback win led by their captain.

4-2-2-2 seems to be doing the trick for Javi Garcia. Adopting a narrow style, the Argentinian prefers two strikers rather than one.

Having played as Watford’s lone strike for major part of his career, Troy Deeney has a friend in the strikers department. Andre Gray is the friend who offers a whole new dimension to Watford’s style of play. Dimension which frightens the defenders.

The 27-year-old Watford midfielder Roberto Pereyra, injured last season, has announced himself in the Premier League. Possessed with a natural eye for goals, he has scored 3 goals this season. He also got nominated for Premier League’s EA Sports Player of the Month award alongside Marcos Alonso, Sadio Mane, Virgil Van Dijk and Neil Etheridge.

Watford’s impressive display against Spurs, just before the international break, has certainly caused a stir among the bookmakers. Majority who do not want to take the risk this time have slashed the odds to 200-1.

Watford's starting XI against Spurs
Watford’s starting XI against Spurs

Kabasele stands like a rock in Watford’s defence. The Belgian defender has formed a formidable partnership with Cathcart.

Watford boasts the defensive midfield duo of Abdoulaye Doucouré and Etienne Capoue. One thing about Watford is – All the players play extremely narrow and it is doing wonders as of now.

Can Watford pull it off?

The top teams did not have the quality that they possess now when Leicester won Premier League. 2015-16 season had Tottenham’s name written all over it until they went on to bottle it.

It’s a lot to ask. 38 games takes a lot of mental toll considering Watford does not have the attacking options like Leicester City had in 2015-16 season. Maintaining the same level of consistency week in week out with the inevitable injuries, it would be too much. Ask Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard.

Are Watford the new Leicester? Not really. With the international break about to begin, Watford should first find out a way to dismantle Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. Forget being crowned Premier League champions. If Watford manages to sneak into Top 6 come the end of the season, it would be some achievement for The Hornets.

Gourav Pilania is the Head of Content at ThinkQuant. He is also a guest writer for India Today and can be followed on twitter @pilania_gourav.

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