Promoted teams in profile: Watford


Our look at the three clubs promoted to the Premier League continues with Watford, who finished last season second in the Championship to gain automatic promotion.

Watford earned an immediate return to the top tier of English football with two games still remaining in the Championship season.

A penalty from Ismaila Sarr was enough to ensure they returned to the Premier League on their first attempt.

Watford finished 19th in the Premier League after a disruptive 2019/20 season. Just one point adrift of 17th place Aston Villa.

The Hornets first featured in the Premier League for the 1999/2000 season, finishing last they returned to Division 1.

They earned promotion from the Championship in 2006, but again their time in England’s top division only lasted one season.

It wasn’t until 2015 that Watford’s place in the Premier League remained consistent, featuring in five consecutive seasons before being relegated in 2019/20.

It was a turbulent start to the 2020/21 season for Watford, but the appointment of Xisco Muñoz in December 2020 acted as a vital turning point for the Hornets.

Senegalese winger, Sarr, lit up Vicarage Road and played a pivotal role in securing Watford’s return to the top-flight of English football, scoring 13 goals in all competitions.

Watford only conceded 30 goals in their 2020/21 campaign, with Ben Foster spending the majority of the season in between the sticks.

The boss

It was Xisco Muñoz that masterminded Watford’s return to the Premier League.

Appointed manager in December 2020, Xisco claimed a 1-0 victory over league winners Norwich on his debut match in charge.

After a run of five straight wins, Xisco was awarded Championship manager of the month in March.

Securing promotion with two games of the regular season remaining, the Spaniard impressed on his first season in English football.

- Kelvin Phillips, a product of the Southampton academy, scored 24 goals in 59 appearances for Watford between 1994 and 1997 before returning to Southampton in 2003. He made 64 appearances for Saints, scoring 22 times before his departure in 2005.

- Jack Cork had a loan spell at Southampton between 2008 and 2009, before commencing a loan spell at Watford in 2009. In 2011 Saints signed Cork on a permanent deal, where he went on to make 114 appearances for the club.

- Grzergorz Rasiak’s time as a Saint initially started as a loan spell with the club in 2006 which was later made permanent. Rasiak scored 28 goals in 78 appearances for Saints, before leaving to join Watford on loan for the 2008/09 season where he scored 10 goals in 25 appearances.

Played 55

Southampton 24

Draws 13

Watford 18

June 2020 Watford 1-3 Southampton

November 2019 Southampton 2-1 Watford

April 2019 Watford 1-1 Southampton