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Dennis starts: The strongest Watford XI Edwards can field as Sheffield United clash looms

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Watford are back in the Championship after just one season away.

The Hornets were relegated from the Premier League last term and have made a bold move ahead of their return to the second tier by appointing Rob Edwards as their new manager on the back of his success for Forest Green Rovers.

Watford’s owners are not known for their patience with coaches but given the step up he’s making, Edwards will hope to awarded more than most in that department.

His first game at the helm is a tough one as his side host fellow promotion hopefuls Sheffield United at Vicarage Road on Monday 8th August.

It will be the first real test of where this Watford squad after their relegation from the top flight and here, we’ve compiled the strongest XI he’s able to name against the Blades…

There is competition for places between the sticks despite the departure of Ben Foster but Maduka Okoye gets the nod ahead of the likes of Ben Hamer and Daniel Bachmann.

It would be a surprise to see Edwards move away from the 3-4-1-2 formation that brought success at Forest Green and he’s got no shortage of options at centre-back.

A back three of Craig Cathcart, William Troost-Ekong and Samir should provide the Hornets boss with everything he needs and is a strong line up at Championship level.

With Kiko Fermenia reportedly closing in on a departure, it’s Hassane Kamara and Jeremy Ngakia that start as the wing-backs – two vital roles in Edwards’ system.

There is plenty of attacking talent in the squad but that makes a defensive-minded midfielder like Edo Kayembe all the more important in the centre of the park and Imrân Louza should be first choice to partner him.

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The forward line was a tough one to select but as they’re still at the club, it was impossible not to start Ismaila Sarr and Emmanuel Dennis.

Having done so previously, the latter will play in a slightly deeper role to allow Sarr to partner summer signing Vakoun Issouf Bayo in a forward line that should give Championship defences nightmares.


London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Dennis starts: The strongest Watford XI Edwards can field as Sheffield United clash looms

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