19/07/2015

MATCH REPORT: SC Paderborn 07 0-2 Watford

Germany with a 2-0 victory over SC Paderborn 07.

Matej Vydra gave the Hornets a first-half lead with a clinical finish after meeting a threaded ball through the defence from Troy Deeney. 

Substitute Ighalo doubled the advantage within minutes of entering the field after fellow sub Ikechi Anya’s ball found the striker, who netted to continue his fine run of goal-scoring form. 

It means the Hornets return to Hertfordshire after the week-long tour with two wins and plenty of positives, as preparations continue for the Premier League. 

Quique Sanchez Flores named a strong team, including several new signings as Watford’s pre-season tour of Germany came to its conclusion. 

Giedrius Arlauskis replaced Heurelho Gomes in the Hornets’ goal, and there were places for full-backs Allan Nyom and Jose Holebas, with Craig Cathcart and Sebastian Prodl forming the centre-half partnership. 

Frenchman Etienne Capoue and Swiss international Valon Behrami started together for the first time in the two deep centre midfield roles, with Ben Watson, Almen Abdi and Vydra playing in advanced roles behind frontman and skipper Deeney.

After an even affair during the opening exchanges, it was the Hornets who took the lead through Vydra, via a wonderful pass from Deeney. 

The Watford skipper played a delightful ball through the defence of Paderborn, and Vydra was there to latch onto it and confidently strike home past Luks Kruse. 

The hosts responded and should have equalised when Idir Ouali met a cross at the far post unmarked, only to volley the ball into the ground and over Arlauskis’ crossbar. 

A fine save from Kruse denied Watford a second midway through the first half, with a superb diving save at full-stretch to his right to deny Deeney’s header after he had met a cleverly executed lobbed ball from Capoue.

Former Hull and Brentford man Nick Proschwitz had the ball in the net minutes later when he met a cross from the right flank, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside. 

The pressure continued to mount on the visitors, with former Borussia Dortmund Academy defender Uwe Hunemeier meeting a corner from Mahir Saglik, however the header was far too straight and was comfortably stopped by Arlauskis. 

The Germans came out after half-time the much brighter of the sides, but without creating too many clear-cut chances. The only one of note came from Saglik, who bent a left-footed free-kick past the wall, and it was well met by Arlauskis, who got down to his right to palm away. 

A trio of substitutions were made by Hornets Head Coach Flores after the interval, and it was two of them who combined to double the lead just after an hour of the game at the Benteler Arena. 

Anya raced onto a cross-field ball, and the Scotsman did superbly well to cut a ball back into the middle. After Deeney had missed the opportunity, Ighalo followed up to drive home a deflected effort for his sixth goal of pre-season. 

The closest the home side came to a goal came through Proschwitz as he drove at the Hornets' defence before unleashing a strike that brushed the edge of the post and went behind. 

HORNETS: Arlauskis (GK) (Gilmartin, 78); Nyom, Prodl, Cathcart, Holebas (Pudil, 57); Capoue, Behrami (Anya, 57); Watson (Murray, 89), Abdi (Dyer, 81), Vydra (Ighalo, 57); Deeney (c) (Fabbrini 74). 

Subs not used: Gomes (GK), Angella, Hoban, Byers, Lewis, Jakubiak.

Booked: Abdi, Behrami.

SC PADERBORN 07: Kruse; Hunemeier (c) (Pepic, 81), Bakalorz (Vucinovic, 64), Ndjeng (Bertels), Proschwitz (Ruck, 81), Saglik (Brasnic, 69), Hohender (Lopez, 81), Bruckner (Hartherz, 69), Heinloth (Narey, 69), Ouali (Stopelkamp, 64), Koc (Schonlau, 64).

Subs not used: Fernandes Heuer (GK), Nubel, Malle. 

First Team 07/07/2015

Prödl | “Excited To Be Part Of This Team”

SEBASTIAN PRODL describes his switch from Werder Bremen to Premier League newcomers Watford as a dream come true.

The 28-year-old defender called time on a seven-year spell with the German Bundesliga outfit last month, signing a five-year deal to join up with the Hornets.

“The decision to leave Werder Bremen was hard, but the decision to come to the Premier League and to come to Watford was very easy,” Prodl told watfordfc.com

“I have dreamed about getting a contract in the Premier League and in the summer I got the opportunity to come to Watford, so it was easy for me to decide.

“I met Mr Pozzo and I was impressed with his ideas, so I became interested in trying to make a contract with Watford. I had a good feeling about the people here, and I think it’s a good choice to come here.

“I’m very excited to be part of this team and part of the Premier League, and I’m very much looking forward to the big challenge.”

A former team-mate of Per Mertesacker’s, Prodl says he spoke to the Arsenal and Germany defender before and after completing his move to Watford.

“When I first signed here I met Per in London and he gave me some good recommendations about the area, because their training ground is nearby,” admitted Prodl, who earned his 50th cap for the Austrian national team last month.

“He also gave me a good feeling about coming to the Premier League. He knows me as a player and as a human, so he recommended that I come and I’m very excited about it.”

Prodl played 174 times for German top-flight side Werder Bremen, including outings in the Champions League and Europa League – losing to Shakhtar Donetsk in the 2009 final of the latter competition.

But the former Sturm Graz centre-half reckons playing in the Premier League will top each of those experiences.

“I know that the German league is a very good league and one of the best in the world, but I don’t think you can compare it with the Premier League,” he said.

“The passion for the football here, the passion of the fans, the stadiums, and the big clubs you’re going to play against, there’s nothing better in the world. I’m very excited to get this experience.

“I hope I can play a very good part for the team. Watford got promoted last year and the first season’s always difficult, but never underestimate the underdogs because we’re looking forward to staying with the team in the Premier League.”