Premier League Preview: Everton vs. Watford

  • Everton finished 11th in the PL last season, the club’s worst finish since 2006
  • Watford has finished in last place in their previous two PL campaigns
  • Everton has won the last nine meetings between the clubs

Everton opens up the 2015-16 Premier League season in front of a home crowd at Goodison Park where the Toffees will face newly promoted Watford.

Watford earned automatic promotion to the PL after finishing second in the Championship last season, but the Hornets are a completely new look team as they have a new manager and have reached double-digits in summer signings.

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You can watch the match live at 10 a.m. ET on USA Network, the first of more than 40 weekend games to be televised live on USA. You can also stream the match live online via Live Extra.

The match pins the league’s two Spanish managers against each other, Roberto Martinez at Everton and Quique Sanchez Flores at Watford. For Martinez, a win is crucial to get the new campaign off to a good start after finishing in the bottom half of the table for the first time in nine years last season. One potential issue for the Toffees is the fitness of striker Romelu Lukaku, whose status for the match is still uncertain as he continues to nurse a hamstring injury.

[ MORE: All of PST’s Premier League season previews

Watford is the bookies favorite to get relegated, as the Hornets have finished dead-last in each of their previous two trips to the Premier League. However, with so many new signings and a new manager as well, the Hornets could be the surprise team of the season. The key to their success will be captain Troy Deeney, who is coming off of three consecutive 20+ goal seasons in the Championship.

What they’re saying

Martinez on Everton’s early schedule: “This season is going to be a really challenging campaign from day one because in the first 10 games we face the top seven of last season plus a newly-promoted side that will bring huge enthusiasm that we will need to match.”

Watford boss Quique Flores: “We are going to play against a tough team like Everton, and it is always important to start well, but I have a lot of confidence with the players. I am very happy to lead these players into the Premier League and it will be interesting to see what the response of the team is.”Prediction
Everton faces a brutal stretch of matches to start the season against all the Premier League’s top teams, which makes this game against Watford that much more important. Watford will have plenty of energy back in the PL for the first time since 2007, but I think the home fans at Goodison Park will help the Toffees get all three points. Everton 2-1 Watford.