Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
While neither Watford nor Everton have the result they wanted after their opening match in this new Premier League season, it was worse for one than the other. Everton went to a goalless draw against Crystal Palace, but did so with both poise and skill, dominating much of the 90 minutes.
However, they fell apart towards the end. They looked lucky to have come away with a point after a brutal final 10 minutes saw Pickford save two otherwise surefire goals. This, and their inability to pull the trigger when needed, are the main concerns for this match. Despite this, Everton showed plenty of potential.
Things were far worse for Watford, who were dominated by Brighton – a team who barely escaped relegation last season – in a 3-0 loss. Considering their excellent pre-season, this is surely a devastating blow to their confidence. Fans of both sides will expect more here.
Everton vs Watford Prediction: Everton 1-0 Watford
We’ll preface this by saying that we don’t think that terrible outing against Brighton is a fair reflection of Watford’s abilities. With that said, it did expose a lot of issues with the team. While Everton are far from perfect too, they showed much more quality in that opening match. Put it this way, if each team plays at the same level here, Everton are almost certainly walking away with the win. Considering the Toffee’s better form last season as well, they are the likely winners. Based on these factors, we are predicting a 1-0 win for Everton here.
Our recommended tip: Everton win to nil
Considering all of that, it’s clear that we think there’s a good chance of the Toffees walking away with three points and a clean sheet. Our reasoning behind that is not just that Everton have shown us more on the pitch over a sizeable period. It’s also because of the disparity between their defences. Everton managed to fight off a vicious final fight from Crystal Palace, whereas the cracks in Watford’s defences were laid bare by Brighton. If you think Everton will be walking away from this having won to nil, then you can get medium risk odds of 2/1 from Ladbrokes.
If Watford fans do want a reason to be optimistic though, they only need to look at their recent head-to-head outings against Everton. They bested the Toffees 1-0 back in February. They also managed the same the year before, with a tense 2-2 draw in December sandwiching their victories. Before that, Everton were much more dominant, winning two games against Watford in 2017. Still, thanks to those recent wins, you have to give the advantage in this regard to Watford. This is the kind of confidence boost they’ll need after their recent loss.
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Players to watch: Jordan Pickford & Abdoulaye Doucouré
Everton: Jordan Pickford
There’s few people in the country who aren’t at least somewhat aware of Jordan Pickford’s incredible talent. Of course, for many, this is due to his international career, but his contributions to the Toffees cannot be overstated. His performance in that match against Crystal Palace exemplified just how vital he is in taking down even the most golden of opportunities for their opponents. We think, for Watford, he will be arguably their biggest obstacle.
Watford: Abdoulaye Doucouré
Oh how different things could have been. Everton went gunning for Abdoulaye Doucouré during the summer transfer window but Watford rejected their £30 million offer, clearly realising what a good thing they have. In fact, Everton have seen just how good Abdoulaye Doucouré is in a rather personal fashion, as it was his goal which denied them victory in December. It will be interesting to see if he can be their undoing once again.