First Team 12/06/2019

Official: Extended Cathcart Contract Confirmed

Craig Cathcart has committed to another four years at Watford after signing a new contract with the Hornets.

The Northern Ireland international has agreed to an extended deal which takes him through to 2023.

In total, the defender - who arrived at Vicarage Road permanently in 2014 after a spell on loan in 2009 - has racked up 146 appearances for Watford, scoring seven goals.

Over the past five years he has played an integral part in the Hornets' rise from the Championship to achieving a best ever Premier League finish, as well as the club's first FA Cup final in 35 years.

The ex-Manchester United centre-half was a near ever-present in Javi Gracia's back-four last season, chipping in with three goals, including the winner in a memorable 2-1 victory over Tottenham.

First Team 12/06/2019

Opening Day Fixtures: Twelve Unbeaten

With 2019/20 fixtures set to be released tomorrow, take a look back at Watford's last 12 opening day league games, during which the Hornets have gone unbeaten - winning and drawing six apiece.

2007/08: Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-2 Watford

Jordan Stewart and Marlon King scored in the final three minutes of the game to cancel out Seyi Olofinjana's cheeky chip and win it at the death for the Hornets, who were starting life back in the Championship. 

Stewart thundered in a free-kick on the goalkeeper's side in the 87th minute, and it looked as though Aidy Boothroyd's side had earned themselves a point, but they went one better when King smashed home a penalty in the dying seconds.

Line-up: Poom; Doyley, DeMerit, Shittu, Stewart; Smith (Kabba, 81), Mahon, Williamson, McAnuff; King, Priskin (Henderson, 48).

2008/09: Crystal Palace 0-0 Watford

A tightly contested affair at Selhurst Park somehow ended goalless, with John Eustace and former Palace man Jobi McAnuff coming closest for the Hornets, while Mike Williamson also clipped the top of the cross-bar.

Line-up: Poom; Doyley, Bromby, DeMerit, Sadler; McAnuff (Robinson, 86), Eustace, Williamson, Harley; Smith, Priskin (Francis, 89).

2009/10: Watford 1-1 Doncaster Rovers

One of only four home games in this extended unbeaten run, Watford got off the mark through new-boy Danny Graham.

The striker arrived from Carlisle having scored 15 league goals in the previous campaign, and took less than half-an-hour to get going for the Golden Boys, poking Tommy Smith's shot - which was going wide - in from close-range.

James Hayter then levelled affairs for the visitors with a looping header from the edge of the area. 

Line-up: Loach; Mariappa, Williamson, DeMerit, Doyley; Cowie, Severin, Jenkins, McAnuff (Hoskins, 76); Smith, Graham.

2010/11: Norwich City 2-3 Watford

Watford came out on-top in a five-goal thriller at Carrow Road, with skipper John Eustace - fresh from signing a new contract - opening the scoring after 14 minutes with a deflected half-volley.

Danny Graham clipped the ball into the bottom corner 10 minutes later to double the lead, but Andrew Crofts pegged one back for the hosts with a powerful drive.

Late in the game, Graham sealed a surprise win with a shot which went in off the post, meaning Michael Nelson's stoppage time strike was a mere consolation.

Line-up: Loach; Hodson, Mariappa, Taylor, Doyley; Buckley (Jenkins, 59), Eustace, McGinn, Cowie; Sordell (Deeney, 58), Graham.

2011/12: Burnley 2-2 Watford

Second-half goals from debutants Craig Forsyth and Mark Yeates had the Golden Boys looking comfortable going into the final stages of the game.

However, Charlie Austin and Keith Treacy scored from two late set-pieces as the Clarets nicked a point at Turf Moor.

Line-up: Loach; Doyley, Mariappa, Taylor, Dickinson; Yeates, Eustace, Jenkins, Forsyth; Iwelumo (Deeney, 68), Sordell.

2012/13: Crystal Palace 2-3 Watford

Some new heroes were made as a new era under the Pozzo family began in dramatic fashion.

Owen Garvan scored a brace for the Eagles - either side of a Martin Taylor tap-in - but Almen Abdi and Matej Vydra netted late to get Gianfranco Zola's reign off to a great start.

Abdi squeezed in a low shot from outside the area, beating Palace keeper Julian Speroni, before Vydra sent the travelling fans into rapture with a delightful curling finish in the 94th minute.

Line-up: Almunia; Doyley, Nosworthy, Taylor, Dickinson; Abdi, Eustace (Vydra, 59), Hogg; Murray (Smith, 79), Garner, (Iwelumo, 79) Yeates.

2013/14: Birmingham City 0-1 Watford

Troy Deeney got the better of former Hornet Paul Robinson, and Blues goalkeeper Darren Randolph, as Watford tried to put the memory of the previous season's play-off final defeat to rest.

Lewis McGugan found Deeney in a pocket of space outside the area, and the Hornets' front-man played a one-two with Fernando Forestieri before coolly slotting home.

Line-up: Almunia; Doyley, Angella, Cassetti; Faraoni, Abdi, Iriney, McGugan (Battocchio, 69), Anya (Pudil, 75); Forestieri (Fabbrini, 69), Deeney.

2014/15: Watford 3-0 Bolton Wanderers

Troy Deeney, Matej Vydra and Fernando Forestieri were all on-target for Beppe Sannino's side as the Hornets cruised to a comfortable victory at home.

The skipper deftly lifted the ball over Andrew Lonergan in the 17th minute, then the returning Vydra doubled the lead five minutes later after a Daniel Tozser pinpoint pass.

Forestieri toe-poked past the on-rushing keeper to complete a convincing victory, and Watford's promotion campaign had started with a bang.

Line-up: Gomes; Angella, Tamas, Ekstrand; Paredes, Abdi, Tozser, McGugan (Munari, 70), Pudil (Dyer, 83); Vydra (Forestieri, 79), Deeney.

2015/16: Everton 2-2 Watford

Watford's first game back in the Premier League ended in a spirited draw. Miguel Layún, in the first of his four appearances that season before heading out on-loan to Porto, scored on the rebound with a half-volley after 13 minutes.

Eventually the Toffees' pressure gave way to a goal from Ross Barkley with quarter-of-an-hour remaining, but Odion Ighalo made John Stones the latest victim of his trademark scoop before making a half-yard for himself and slotting home.

There was to be another late twist though, as Arouna Koné arrowed the ball into the corner of Heurelho Gomes' goal to equalise with four minutes to go.

Line-up: Gomes; Nyom, Prodl, Cathcart, Holebas; Behrami (Watson, 79), Capoue; Layun (Paredes, 59), Jurado (Ighalo, 74), Anya; Deeney.

2016/17: Southampton 1-1 Watford

Étienne Capoue didn't score during his entire first season at Watford, but he took just nine minutes to get off the mark in his second. In a way that would soon become familiar, Capoue arrived late into the box to smash a half-volley home with aplomb.

Nathan Redmond would eventually peg the Hornets back in the 58th minute, on his Saints debut, with a volley following a corner.

Line-up: Gomes; Cathcart, Prodl, Britos; Amrabat, Behrami (Watson, 64), Capoue, Guedioura (Zuniga, 73), Holebas; Deeney, Ighalo (Anya, 81).

2017/18: Watford 3-3 Liverpool

An absolute classic at Vicarage Road began with Stefano Okaka opening the scoring inside the first 10 minutes, heading home a José Holebas corner at the near post.

Sadio Mané equalised after a slick Liverpool move with half-an-hour played, but three minutes later Abdoulaye Doucouré netted his first of a seven-goal season from close-range to restore the lead.

Roberto Firmino converted a penalty before Mo Salah added a third for the visitors two minutes later, but Miguel Britos headed in right at the death to earn Watford a deserved point.

Line-up: Gomes; Janmaat (Femenia, 18), Kaboul, Britos, Holebas; Doucoure, Chalobah; Amrabat, Cleverley, Pereyra (Richarlison, 49); Okaka (Gray, 63).

2018/19: Watford 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

A Roberto Pereyra double ensured a 12th consecutive opening day league game without defeat for Watford, who were comfortable winners over Chris Hughton's Seagulls at The Vic.

Pereyra opened the scoring with a genuine Goal of the Season contender just 35 minutes into the 2018/19 campaign, blasting a sweet volley into the net direct from Jose Holebas' corner.

And the Argentina international once again combined with Holebas to seal the win, collecting the left-back's pass before cutting inside and clipping over Mat Ryan from an angle.

Line-up: Foster; Janmaat, Cathcart, Kabasele, Holebas; Hughes (Sema, 81), Doucoure, Capoue, Pereyra (Femenia, 87); Gray (Success, 74), Deeney.