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Southampton vs Watford – Match Preview

Southampton full-back Ryan Bertrand will miss the visit of Watford because of a knee injury, while Jose Fonte and Cedric Soares are doubts.

New Saints manager Claude Puel favoured a midfield diamond in pre-season, with Shane Long and Nathan Redmond up front.

Watford head coach Walter Mazzarri will be without new signings Brice Dja Djedje and Isaac Success because of respective foot and leg injuries.

Valon Behrami and Adlene Guedioura are doubts as they recover from injuries.

Craig Cathcart is nursing a back problem but is expected to play.

Another new man at the Watford helm as Walter Mazzari was announced as the man to take over from Quique Sanchez Flores back in May. Watford’s return to the Premier League was very much a season of two halves, one that saw them in the European places in December and then a big slump down the table after the new year.

The key thing that was the undoing of Sanchez Flores was the fact that the early season goals from Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo had dried up since the turn of the year and that coincided with their downfall into the bottom half. There was too much of an over reliance on these two and not enough input from the rest of the side that coupled with tactical inflexibility and the writing was soon on the wall for the Spaniard.

New manager Mazzari will be hoping that with Ighalo putting pen to paper on a 5 year deal at Vicarage Road and warding off any interest from China that the Nigerian will have once again found where the net is as he looks to he and Deeney to once again score the goals to keep them up. That said there has to be more goals from the supporting cast this time around otherwise they could be in trouble.

For Southampton they have new man Claude Puel taking charge of a Premier League game for the first time, as per usual there has been the Summer St.Mary’s exodus with Sadio Mane and Victor Wanayama departing for Liverpool and Tottenham respectively.

The challenge for Puel will be to once again lead Southampton to a Europa League place at the end of the season, whether they can once again get there after another Summer of rebuilding remains to be seen but they can get off to the best possible start with a win at home to Watford this Afternoon.

Both teams have new managers new to the league so it will be a case of who has aclimitised the quickest, I have a feeling the two sides may very well cancel each other out but that said I think Southampton may just have the edge in this one. Home win with both teams to score in this one.

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