How Watford FC can defeat West Ham United in a defining relegation game

Troy Deeney, Danny Welbeck
WATFORD, ENGLAND - JULY 11: Troy Deeney of Watford celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal from a penalty during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Newcastle United at Vicarage Road on July 11, 2020 in Watford, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Watford FC is gearing up to face off against West ham United in a defining relegation game on Friday afternoon. Both sides are calling their way out of the relegation zone and a loss would be detrimental to their chances of remaining in the Premier League.

Let’s take a look at how Watford FC can overcome West Ham and inch closer to safety:

West Ham utilizes a 4-4-1-1 formation, dependent on striker Michail Antonio. Antonio scored four goals last week against Norwich City, who sits at the bottom of the table. His stellar performance gives him incredible momentum heading into the matchup against the Hornets.

However, Watford has their own savior gearing up for what he hopes to be another successful performance. Captain Troy Deeney, scored two goals from the penalty spot in the teams 2-1 victory over Newcastle last weekend.

Nigel Pearson currently leads the Watford team, who displays a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Deeney serving as the primary striker. Currently, they are utilizing Danny Welbeck and Ismaila Sarr as their left and right wings, with Abdoulaye Doucoure at center attacking midfielder.

Will Hughes and Etienne Capoue at center mid gives Watford a strong midfield, but their wing-backs have struggled in recent weeks. Adam Masina and Kiko Femenia have been inconsistent at times, which has given opposing teams a way into the 18-yard box. Christian Kabasele and Craig Dawson must remain strong and defend well again set pieces to overcome a surging West Ham attack.

The difference-maker

However, I believe the difference-maker in this game could be Roberto Pereyra, who has struggled this year but remains one of the more talented players on the team. His lack of care has been on display and undoubtedly affected his game in a down season. But with Watford looking to retain their Premier League status, his services are needed immediately. I believe a more aggressive formation would be beneficial in this game, as Watford’s defense is not strong enough to hold off West Ham for 90 minutes. A 4-4-2 formation could be a more suitable look.

Utilizing Deeney and Welbeck as their two strikers, Pearson could keep Capoue on the bench and swing Pereyra out to left-wing. This would make Doucoure and Hughes their center midfielders.

Putting a goal on the board early should be the priority here, and sitting back on defense in the second half to control the lead could help Watford secure their future.