An opening-day draw at Everton has given Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores plenty of cause for optimism ahead of Saturday’s Premier League visit of West Brom.
Last season’s Championship winners marked their return to the top flight with a creditable draw at Goodison Park – Odion Ighalo continuing his impressive goalscoring from the previous campaign.
Ighalo has scored 17 league goals in 2015 – more than any other player in the top four tiers of English football – ahead of Watford’s return to Vicarage Road.
Like their visitors, Watford are seeking to remain active in the transfer market before the window shuts and are set to bring in experienced Italian Alessandro Diamanti.
The Guangzhou Evergrande forward would be the club’s 11th close-season signing and offer further competition for the likes of Matej Vydra.
The striker endured a disappointing spell on loan at West Brom in 2013-14 and spoke this week of his desire to prove a point, but Flores warned he may have to wait for a starting berth.
“If a player does not start the season in the team, that does not mean he cannot recover a role within the squad,” he said.
“We have to decide on each player’s role during the week – sometimes certain players connect a little bit later with the staff and the team. Vydra may have to wait a little bit more.
“I like the players to be happy in the week and then we have to decide on their role depending on their feelings and performance in training.
“But I am very happy with the squad. We have 10 new players, but they have adapted very, very quickly, they try to understand the philosophy of the team and we have the tools to do something good.”
West Brom were comfortably beaten by a slick Manchester City side on Monday – the title hopefuls proving a class apart in their 3-0 success.
Manager Tony Pulis accepted responsibility for the loss, admitting he had been too adventurous in his formation.
A lack of match fitness could rule out club-record signing Jose Salomon Rondon, while Gareth McAuley remains a doubt after picking up a calf injury in pre-season.
Pulis is likely to keep faith with the forward pairing of Rickie Lambert and Saido Berahino ahead of the sides’ first top-flight meeting since 1985.
The former Liverpool man has scored five goals in his last two appearances against Watford, including a hat-trick for Southampton in the Championship back in February 2012.
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