Fantasy Premier League: Analysing Watford Assets

With a second-place finish in the 2020-21 EFL Championship, Watford secured an immediate return back to the premier league a year after suffering relegation. Their strong defense has been key enabling them to keep the league-highest 23 clean sheets and conceding only 30 goals. They concede only 10.6 shots per game last season. Their defense is rock solid and their xGA is (1.29) in the championship last season. 

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However, in attack, they have been less convincing as 5 teams have scored more goals than their tally of 63 goals with an xG of (1.36). They play in a 4-3-3 formation under Xisco Munoz, they rely solely on their defense to win games in the majority of their games. Their attacking output comes mainly from the flanks especially from the right flanks thanks to Ismaila Sarr. Considering Watford’s fixtures until GW10 their players could prove to be decent differentials for our FPL squad for the upcoming season. Ismaila Sarr (6.0m) could be their star player again in the premier league this time around.

FORWARDS

JOSHUA KING (5.5m)

The last 12 months after leaving Bournemouth for Everton has not gone according to plan as he struggled for game time as an understudy to Dominic Calvert Lewin. His experience of playing in the premier league and his ability to run in behind could prove to be essential for a team looking to survive in the premier league. In that (5.5m) price bracket there aren’t many other viable forward options.

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JOAO PEDRO (5.5m)

Joao Pedro has played 38 games in the championship last season scoring 9 goals and providing 2 assists. He’s better off dropping deep and linking up play with midfielders and perhaps he could shift out wide to make way for a more physical No.9 seemingly King. In the championship, he took a total of 68 shots from which 57 shots were inside the box. The fact that his 11 goal involvements were only bettered by Ismaila Sarr shows that he can prove to be a very attractive pick but it could be difficult for him to replicate the same form in the premier league at such a young age.

MIDFIELDERS

ISMAILA SARR (6.0m)

Ismaila Sarr is undoubtedly their key man in attack and also has premier league experience scoring 5 goals and providing 7 assists 2019-2020 campaign. Last season in the championship, he started 39 games racking up 13 goals and 4 assists.9 of the 13 goals he scored came from the No 9 position and he has played 22 out of 39 matches as a striker in Watford’s system. He has 0.44 goals and assists per 90 in the championship last season for Watford.  He operates from the right-wing typically in a 4-3-3 formation taking a total of 86 shots from which 62 shots were from inside the box.

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Although his tally of only 4 assists, his 11 big chances created were joint highest with Ken Sema among his teammates, no player from either of the two promoted sides has created the same amount of chances. He was also the second-most fouled player in the championship last season, which could increase his chances of earning fantasy assists even further from free-kicks won. He is not that expensive and especially there are not many options at that price point.

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KEN SEMA (5.5m)

On the left flank, Swedish winger Ken Sema has established himself as a regular starter under Xisco Munoz. He combined 5 goals and 5 assists in 41 games in the championship last season and also was their joint top creator with Ismaila Sarr with 11 big chances created. In that price bracket of (5.5m), Ken Sema could be worth taking a punt on especially when Stuart Dallas of Leeds is the most liked by FPL managers at that price point.

DEFENDERS

FRANCISCO SIERRALTA (4.5m)

Initially coming in as a new signing in September last year instantly became a regular starter in the hornets’ backline. He started 24 of 26 league games since Xisco Munoz took charge of the club in December contributing to 14 clean sheets during that period. Even though scoring only 1 goal in the championship last season,  his tally of 18 shots with 17 shots coming from inside the box is the highest amongst Watford defenders.

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KIKO FEMENIA (4.5m)

The Spanish right-back has been their key player in defense and especially going forward as he has been the most creative amongst their defense providing 4 assists and having a total of 30 attempted assists. He also took 11 shots only behind Francisco Sierralta in the Watford defense.

GOALKEEPERS

DANIEL BACHMANN (4.5m)

In goal, Daniel Bachmann appears to have moved ahead of Ben Foster (4.0m) as Watford’s No.1. The Austrian also featured in the Euros initially started the season as backup to foster but then went on to show some impressive performances. He kept 13 clean sheets in 23 starts and also had a save percentage of 76% which was the second-highest in the championship last season just behind Norwich City’s Tim Krul.

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