The Everton Diary – Game Week 2 Pre-Match Notes

Watford today.

Key men? Abdoulaye Doucoure? Etienne Capoue? Troy Deeney?

Maybe.

Today if you’re watching the game and looking out for opposition players, look at Watford’s fullbacks: Jose Holebas on the left and Kiko Femenia on the right.

Watford are often a team of extremes. Build up goes two ways in the main. Long down the middle to Deeney, or sending it to Femenia on the right hand side.

When they go long, Holebas gets more involved. It’s long throw-ins ahoy when the ball gets knocked out and away.

When the ball goes to the right hand side, the busy Will Hughes links up with Femenia and the ball advances quickly down that flank. With Andre Gray buzzing about too up front on that side, it’s a dynamic set up. Femenia is often Watford’s most directly creative player and see’s a lot of the ball.

You’ll see from the graphic that Watford were keen to press high across the front against Brighton last week (the redder the area the more the opposition pass backwards or give the ball away):

As soon as Watford lose the ball in attack they intially press opposition defenders hard to get it back. This can expose the area in behind full backs who are still up high.

In theory Everton have options here. Long diagonals to Richarlison (if he starts on the right again) when Holebas gets caught short.

It also allows Dominic Calvert Lewin to pull about the two centre halves Craig Cathchart and Craig Dawson if Everton launch it quickly in transition.

Then there’s more conventional build up between Lucas Digne and Bernard when Watford drop deep once the initial press has failed.

There’ll be lots of clamour to change it about up front seeing as Everton failed to score last week. Me? I’d stick with DCL through the middle and Bernard left to give us that bit of variety.

I’m the first to criticise the way Marco Silva chooses to use Glyfi Sigurdsson. But I expect this game to turn into a bit of a ping pong match with the ball popping about everywhere, so it’d be entirely in keeping with tradition that my Icelandic chum barely touches the ball but manages to find the space amongst the chaos to smash in a worldy and solidify his place for the next dozen games.

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