Under-23 Report | Barnsley 2-1 Watford

Watford Under-23s were left to rue missed first-half chances as they went down to Barnsley by the odd goal in three this afternoon.
In unseasonally sunny weather in Yorkshire, the Hornets fashioned enough opportunities in a 20-minute spell, their best of the game, before half-time but only had Dion Pereira’s 42nd-minute equaliser to show for it. 
The visitors paid a high price for their wastefulness as they were sunk by a goal on 49 minutes and never looked likely to get back in it after that.
Watford took a while to get going – about 20 minutes to be precise – and were grateful to Nathan Gartside for a save he pulled off when faced one-v-one with Lloyd Isgrove.

That served as a wake-up call to the visitors and they created four presentable chances in a bright and inventive 10-minute passage of play. 
Randell Williams, who was Watford’s best player in the first-half, thought he had laid the opening goal on a plate for Michael Folivi but the striker missed under pressure from the goalkeeper and covering defender. 
Pereira then hit the post with his supposed weaker right foot after he out-sprinted his marker to latch onto a ball over the top from Folivi. 
Williams was proving a real menace down the Watford left and he saw an effort saved by the legs of the keeper after a pass from Brandon Mason set him darting in from the flank.

And the lively former Crystal Palace forward was at the end of another move just minutes later, bending a first-time effort from a David Sesay cross just past the far post. It was all Watford at this stage.
But, as always seems the way when you don’t take the chances, the opposition showed how it’s done by scoring against the run of play on 39 minutes, Stephen Mallan finding space in the box to beat Gartside. 
Down but not out, Watford encouragingly responded almost immediately. Sesay picked out Folivi with a lovely right-to-left cross-field pass, which allowed the forward to take the ball in his stride to the byline. Once there, he cut it back for Pereira to ram home with his sweet left foot.
That, however, was as good as it got for the young Golden Boys.

Barnsley got their noses back in front four minutes after half-time through Matthew Wolfe and really should have put the game to bed once they did, with Gartside making at least three saves and Victor Adeboyejo, who was a handful throughout, missing a golden chance when it seemed easier to score. 
HORNETS | Gartside (GK); Eleftheriou (C), Rowan, Mukena; Sesay (Rogers, 51), Stewart, Charles, Mason; Pereira, Folivi, Williams (Bradbury, 65).

Subs not used | Lacy (GK), Huja, Stray. 


FPL Review | Gameweek 5

By Sachin Dholakia

It was a difficult week for Watford fans as they saw the Hornets on the wrong end of a 6-0 thrashing by Manchester City in Gameweek 5.

For the first time this season, no Watford player picked up more than 2 points while the defenders all scored negatively for goals conceded. Jose Holebas (-2) was a particularly affected having received a yellow card.  

Six goals meant big points for Manchester City players, and they mostly came through the excellent Sergio Aguero (20) who scored a hat-trick, bagged an assist and took home the 3 bonus points to boot. Nicolas Otamendi (12) also got on the scoresheet, and after a successive run of starts, could be worth transferring in for City’s easier run of games.

With a run of away games for the Golden Boys in coming weeks, the focus could turn from defence to attack. Richarlison (£6.0) again looks to be the best value with uncertainty over who will start over Andre Gray (£6.4) and Troy Deeney (£6.4).

It was a mixed week for FPL's most popular captains, as Aguero (20) and Lukaku (12) scored heavily in their respective wins. Despite rattling the crossbar, Harry Kane (2) struggled to get past a resilient Swansea, ensuring Tottenham’s winless Premier League run at Wembley continued. Lukasz Fabianski (11) profited from this however to be the week’s highest scoring keeper.

Elsewhere, Manchester United's Antonio Valencia (15) smashed in a screamer to open the scoring against Everton, while Matt Ritchie (11) and Steven Davis (11) fared
well for Newcastle and Southampton respectively.


There were plenty of changes at the top of the Watford global league as Ray Charles took the lead with 354 points. Ben Picton was the highest new entry into the top 10 with an outstanding 126 points in the week after an audacious triple captain on Sergio Aguero. Congratulations if you made the top 10.

Tip of the week

Look out for players in the wrong positions. If a player is classed as a defender or midfielder on the game but is actually more attacking, this provides a good opportunity to pick up additional points. Examples include Stoke’s Choupo-Moting and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah who have recently been playing up front for their respective sides yet still obtain 5 points for each goal scored.  

Players To Watch

1) Wayne Rooney (Everton, £7.5) will lead the line for Everton for an easier run of games after an especially difficult start to the season. Good budget option to complement having two highly-priced strikers.

2) Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal, £5.4) has returned to the Arsenal starting line-up after a period of uncertainty over a move away from the Emirates. Impressed against Chelsea and should start again for favourable fixtures in weeks ahead.

3) David Silva (Manchester City, £8.3) has been pulling the strings for Aguero and Jesus with four assists already this season. A game against winless Crystal Palace provides the opportunity for more damage to be done.