Watford’s nerves were tested as they held on fro an opening weekend victory at home to Aston Villa. Brighton managed to complete a comeback in their trip to Burnley and are poised to make for fascinating opposition as they host the Hornets on Saturday afternoon.
At the first time of asking, Watford returned to the Premier League with a playing staff littered with familiar names from their previous spell in the top flight. Although, as has come to be expected, the same cannot be said of those in the dugout.
Here is the side that Xisco Munoz, the sixth person to take charge of Watford in the last two years, may deploy for his first Premier League match on the road.
Daniel Bachmann (GK) – Goalkeeping duties were split down the middle between Bachmann and Ben Foster for Watford last season, with 23 games apiece. However, the Austria international got the nod last weekend and may very well be called upon again ahead of his senior counterpart.
Kiko Femenia (RB) – Only two Hornets racked up more than Femenia’s four assists last term. After a precautionary absence from the opening weekend’s squad, the former Barcelona and Real Madrid youth player’s creativity should be restored to the lineup
William Troost-Ekong (CB) – Brought in after Watford’s relegation, Troost-Ekong is one of three Nigeria internationals running through the spine of this side.
Craig Cathcart (CB) – One of the more experienced figures in the squad, the Manchester United youth product is set to shuffle inside from his stint at full-back last weekend following Femenia’s return.
Adam Masina (LB) – After sitting out the first half of last season with a tendon injury, Masina has been a regular in the side under Munoz’s stewardship.
Ismaila Sarr (RM) – To couple his blistering speed, Sarr’s blistering start to the season – which certainly left Aston Villa’s Matt Targett reeling – is simply a continuation of the fine form he closed out the previous campaign with.
Juraj Kucka (CM) – At 34, the former Serie A stalwart arrives at Watford with a wealth of top flight experience.
Peter Etebo (CM) – The Stoke City loanee enjoyed a winning start to life in yellow and is set to return to the base of a midfield he anchored to victory against Brighton.
Tom Cleverley (CM) – Having bursting into the public sphere in a Manchester United side managed by Sir Alex Ferguson, the seemingly untouched by time Tom Cleverely is now, somehow, 32 and, less surprisingly, a crucial figure in Watford’s midfield.
Ken Sema (LM) – Watford’s industrious winger made more appearances than any other player during last term’s promotion-winning campaign and is set to reprise his role among the squad’s vital core.
Emmanuel Dennis (ST) – A debut goal saw Watford’s new front man become the fourth Nigerian to find the net in their maiden Premier League appearance. The trip to Brighton should give him the opportunity to better his past countrymen by scoring in his next match as well.