Watford’s starting line-up for their opening Premier League fixture at Everton is likely to be much-changed from the one that finished last season with a 1-1 draw at home to Sheffield Wednesday.
After a busy summer in the transfer market, new head coach Quique Sanchez Flores could hand debuts to nine new players at Goodison Park, but Miguel Britos will not be available as he serves a three-match ban for headbutting Juventus striker Alvaro Morata in Serie A last season; the ban carries over to his new club.
The fixture is likely to come too soon for Steven Berghuis, who signed for the Hornets for £4.6 million from Dutch side AZ, as he is lacking match fitness, while Almen Abdi (knee) is not expected to feature.
Going into the game, Flores has been encouraged by his side’s pre-season campaign, despite defeats to Cardiff City and Sevilla.
“I have confidence in my players,” he said in a pre-match press conference on Thursday.
“They are an amazing group and I am happy with their work and they will improve with time. It is important they try and give their best for the first match on Saturday.”
Forza Watford! predicted line-up: Gomes; Nyom, Cathcart, Prodl, Holebas; Behrami, Capoue; Anya, Ighalo, Jurado; Deeney.
More to follow…