With his side eleventh in the league, Watford boss, Walter Mazzarri, has adapted quickly to English football and got to grips with the way we do things over here. So much so, he recognises the value of three points and how a game begins:
Winning is very important. We have to think about the performance, we have to know that games start at 0-0 and not to make any defensive mistakes and ensure we concentrate.
You can't import knowledge like that, that is unless you employ a former Inter Milan, Napoli and Sampdoria coach of course. And so, Mazzarri makes his first trip to the Stadium of Light, much like Wednesday's Italian guest, Antonio Conte.
Indeed such has been Watford's sloppiness at the back, that they've conceded the same amount of goals as us this season.
But, the Hornets boss was evidently watching our game against Chelsea as he foresees a battling Sunderland desperate for three points at home:
I heard from some of the players that they said it’s a very important game against us.
This already warns us a little bit – I saw when they played against Chelsea and they proved to be a difficult rival for them.
It won’t be an easy game, it will be very difficult, but we have to go there and go to get a result
Troy Deeney, who Sunderland were rumoured to be pondering a bid for in the summer, has not scored since October and the 28-year-old is stuck on 99 Watford goals. He was rested mid-week against Manchester City, but in true Mackem-hospitality style we can likely expect him to make his century tomorrow, after we resurrected Cesc Fabregas' career earlier this week by switching off to let him score on Wednesday night. On the subject of Deeney, Mazzarri said:
These are moments that can happen for a forward to have in his career
Maybe he's feeling the pressure of these 100 goals but for us it's just important he plays for the team and then scores
Watford midfielder, Nordin Amrabat, a summer signing from Malaga reckons Sunderland will be there for the taking tomorrow as his side look to find a level of consistency in their stop-start season. The Dutch winger told the Watford Observer:
Saturday is a big game and we need to win. We need to have a good result at Sunderland. A lot of teams are really close to us, and it's important to get a win before Christmas
The Watford Media & Fans
Since starting this feature in October, we've noticed a natural but curious feature when looking for coverage of other clubs - the more 'tinpot' the opposition, the lower the amount of media interest there is in them. Obvious from a national perspective perhaps, but some clubs don't even have a tenth of the local 'news' reporting that Sunderland have.
In the tin-pot stakes so far this season, Bournemouth lead the way by a mile. There wasn't even anyone bothering to publish Eddie Howe's press conference in the build up to our trip to the Vitality Stadium until hours after he had conducted it.
Taking the big boys out of the equation - for clubs around our perceived 'size' in the Premier League - so far this season only Stoke City and West Ham have come close to the amount of interest Sunderland fans take in their club when measured by local media coverage; but the likes of Swansea, Hull City and dare we say it, Watford, are way down the coverage-rankings.
In fact, it would be fair to say we're spoiled up here for football coverage and likely take it for granted. So there's little to report by way of what the Watford media boys and girls have been saying in the build-up to tommorrow.
So, we'll turn it over to the fans. Here's a selection of comments on the three articles the Watford Observer has published in anticipation of tomorrow's fixture:
Certainly Walter is in no position to DEMAND a win at Sunderland. This is NOT an easy game for us! Sunderland are no mugs at home, and they also won away at Bmuff recently. - IamWatford
I just worry that the coach is not able to motivate the team. I hope that he proves me wrong on Saturday. - Lifelong fan
I suppose we are having what could be called a stuttering season. No consistency whatsoever. - Davidhorwood
That is why football is such. Great game! - Bruce.Wayne
Your second sentence a little long there Brucie Old Boy, and also lacking in punctuation - back to school on Monday??? - iamwatford
But this Robbo chap has the measure of the Premier League and probably sums up why Sunderland are in the position they are, yet again:
With the quality of the teams in the Premiership it's almost impossible for a club of our size to be anything but inconsistent, every week is a battle with fine lines between winning and losing. You just have to look at clubs like West Ham to realise how tough this league is. - RobboBTC
Until the voice of reason replied:
Call the Moderaters! Who let this reasoned, unemotive, articulate, sensible post get through? ... heads will roll! - Bruce.Wayne