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Match Preview: Watford v Sunderland - here’s all you need to know ahead of kick-off!

The Lads face a third successive game on the road as we travel to Hertfordshire in a bid to win successive games for the first time this season - here’s all you need to know in the build-up to kick-off!

Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Saturday 17th September 2022

(10th) Watford v Sunderland (6th)


Vicarage Road

Kick-Off: 15:00

Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Tickets are sold out.

TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via to residents outside the UK and Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man only.

Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Radio Newcastle (not online)

Don’t forget to follow the blow-by-blow account of the game on the Roker Report Twitter feed (@RokerReport) and check out the player ratings after the full-time whistle at!

The build-up...

The tests keep coming for Tony Mowbray’s young side, and to date they haven’t let anyone down. Even the defeats against much fancied Norwich City and Sheffield United were greeted with much applause from the Sunderland faithful for their performance.

During midweek, it’s safe to say the result came alongside a hugely impressive performance. In fact, I’m just going to pause from typing to watch that goal a few more times... okay, I’m back.

But with the age of the squad and for most of them, the fact they are plying their trade in the Championship for the first time, will come inevitable inconsistency. To be fair, so far this season this has manifested in results rather than performance levels.

The standard has been high for almost all of our league fixtures so far but for one reason or another maybe haven’t collected the points we have deserved.

All this means that, although we’ve got off to a cracking start to the season, we’re still searching for back-to-back wins this season, and doing that could be the difference between a very good season and a spectacular season.

Reading v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship
Tony Mowbray joining in with the one-touch football at Reading in midweek
Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

On the face of it, things don’t appear all that bad at Watford at the moment. If we consider they sit only two points behind third-placed Blackburn Rovers and have won three from four so far on home soil, you might think they are a few tweaks away from where they would like to be.

The reaction from the away fans following the midweek defeat at Blackburn Rovers however, tells a different story. The three victories at Vicarage Road are the only wins on the board this season and have only scored nine goals in the opening nine games, where only six other clubs in the division have scored less.

There’s a need for a bit of restructuring in terms of the playing staff and the evidence can be found in the volume of turnover during the summer, and the job of going through the process falls to 39-year-old Rob Edwards.

This is Edwards’ biggest role to date, having made the move from Forest Green Rovers in the summer, and the pressure is already on with Watford fans expecting better results than those on the board so far. Today presents an opportunity to kickstart their season in front of their own fans, where they have impressed so far this term.

Blackburn Rovers v Watford - Sky Bet Championship - Ewood Park
Rob Edwards facing the Watford fans following the defeat at Blackburn in midweek
Photo by Isaac Parkin/PA Images via Getty Images

The betting...

The bookies have Watford as favourites this afternoon at evens for the home win, with the Lads priced at 27/10 to pick up all three points and the draw is 23/10.

For a correct score, a 1-1 draw is the shortest odds at 5/1, followed by 11/2 for a 1-0 home win and a 1-0 away victory is priced at 17/2.

Head to head... at Vicarage Road

(All competitions)

  • Sunderland wins: 5
  • Draws: 9
  • Watford wins: 7
  • Sunderland goals: 25
  • Watford goals: 34

Last time we met... at Vicarage Road

Saturday 1st April 2017

Premier League

Watford 1-0 Sunderland

[Britos 59’]

Sunderland: Pickford, Jones, Kone, O’Shea, Oviedo, Denayer, Gibson (Ndong), Rodwell, Borini, Defoe, Januzaj (Khazri) Substitutes not used: Mannone, Manquillo, Djilobodji, Catermole, Larsson

Watford: Gomes, Cathcart, Holebas, Doucoure, Kaboul (Janmaat), Britos, Amrabat (Success), Capoue, Niang (Zuniga), Okaka, Cleverley Substitutes not used: Pantilimon, Prodl, Mariappa, Deeney

Attendance: 27,701

Watford v Sunderland - Premier League
Sunderland players apparently taking instructions at Vicarage Road when the two clubs last met there in 2017
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Played for both...

Kevin Phillips

Watford gave Kevin Phillips his opportunity when they signed him from Baldock Town following his release from Southampton, and after three years at Vicarage Road, Peter Reid swooped to sign him for a bag of chips and a tub of mushy peas.

Six years, 235 appearances and 130 goals later, Phillips was a club legend at Sunderland. For those that witnessed his partnership with Niall Quinn in the flesh it will never be forgotten.

In the end, he maybe stayed too long for his own good and moved to Southampton in 2003, before having spells at Aston Villa, West Brom, Birmingham City, Blackpool, Crystal Palace and Leicester City and is now the manager of South Shields.

Kevin Phillips of Sunderland
Kevin Phillips
Getty Images

Alec Chamberlain

Chamberlain made his name at Colchester in the 1980s, before finding a home at Luton Town via Everton in 1988. After four years at Kenilworth Road, Terry Butcher brought him to Sunderland on a free transfer to fight it out with Tony Norman for the number one jersey.

He made over 100 appearances for the Lads in three years before moving to Watford as a 32-year-old in 1996 and incredibly played for another eleven years before retiring in 2007.

Alec Chamberlain


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With a huge game to come against Southampton, let’s give the Lasses maximum support!

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