Despite both clubs being formed before the turn of the last century, Everton v Watford is a fixture that has only been on the football calendar for the last four decades.
Evertonians will need no reminding of one of the early fixtures between the two, coming as it did to hand the Blues their first FA Cup final victory in 18 years and sending Elton John back to the suburbs with tears in his eyes, but many will be surprised to find out that the Wembley face-off was only the fifth time the sides had met.
Everton haven’t lost to Watford since 1987, but the last two games between the two sides have been draws, and with both sides ‘enjoying’ differing runs of form this season, then the Premier League betting for this weekend could go either way.
Formed in 1881 – three years after Everton – Watford spent much of their formative years fighting for their league status while at the same time Everton were proud founders of the Football League and as Watford relied on a vote to keep them in the league, Everton won the FA Cup in 1933.
It was the Rocket Man, though, who propelled Watford into Everton’s stratosphere. Elton John ploughed cash into the club and the Hornets climbed the divisions, first meeting Everton in 1982 when they recorded the first of only two victories over the Blues in 22 attempts.
With Watford aiming to now become an established top flight side again, the similarities with Everton don’t just end with the league we play in. From 1927 until 1959, Watford played in royal blue shirts, white shorts, and royal blue socks and they also play the theme from Z-Cars as the players run out onto the pitch, which means that along with Everton and Sunderland, the theme is now the most played music at Premier League grounds this season.
Everton have won just one of the last nine Premier League games, a tense 2-0 win over West Ham back in October. By contrast, Watford have seen their form stutter after being hammered 6-1 by Liverpool and losing to West Brom last time out.
Summer strike target Troy Deeney stayed at Watford, but there is every chance that Ronald Koeman could go back in for him in January should he start scoring at the rate that drew attention to him last season. So far he has only bagged three times in the Premier League, whereas his opposite number at Everton has managed seven goals in 14 games so far.
Last season’s visit to Watford saw protests from Evertonians at their manager’s lack of results. Ronald Koeman will hope the fans still have some patience with him.
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