Watford’s season so far has been an up and down one. They have upset Manchester United but flattered to deceive against newly-promoted Burnley. Walter Mazzarri is still adapting to life in England and it is not an overnight process. The Hornets are slowly but surely adapting to the former Napoli manager’s ideas, which by the way is something the English fans haven’t seen too much of.
Watford will travel to the Riverside Stadium on Sunday to take on newly-promoted Middlesbrough and the fans will hope that they get to see the side that were victorious against Manchester United and West Ham United. Mazzarri needs to be extra careful while approaching Boro after their loss against another newly promoted side Burnley.
Watford lined up in a 4-4-2 formation against Bournemouth prior to the international break but could salvage just a 2-2 draw. The Italian gaffer is likely to revert back to his favoured 3-5-2 formation once again. Boro are a defensive side and Watford need to be more aggressive to break down their defence.
Here is the predicted Watford lineup against Middlesbrough.
Experienced Heurelho Gomes will start under the bar for the Hornets. Craig Cathcart’s injury was probably the reason why Mazzarri opted for a back four against Bournemouth prior to the international break but with the Northern Irishman coming back from injury, Mazzarri is likely to switch back to a back three. Prodl, Britos and Cathcart will be the back three.
Etienne Capoue has been remarkable this season in the middle of the park having already scored four goals and managing one assist. The Frenchman will start at the middle of the park alongside Swiss international Valon Behrami. Behrami has been impressive this season after reuniting with his former manager Mazzarri, whom he worked with at Napoli.
The summer signing from Juventus, Roberto Pereyra, will start in the most advanced position of the midfield trio. The Argentine has done a good job at Vicarage Road so far with his creativity and flair in the middle of the park and will be looking to impress when he starts against Boro. Amrabat and Holebas are likely to start on the two wide positions, operating as wing-backs.
The striker pair will be Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney. Both have done decently this season but in patches. With four goals and two assists between them so far, they will need to be at their best to break a resolute Boro defence.