Essential reading on this weekend's opponents
Nickname: The Hornets
Manager: Beppe Sannino
Ground: Vicarage Road
Fastest road route from Carrow Road: 116 miles (2 hours 14 minutes)
Watford have enjoyed a perfect start to the 2014-15 campaign, with two wins from two and no goals conceded.
They began with a comfortable 3-0 triumph over Bolton Wanderers on the opening day of the season last Saturday, and the Watford Observer’s Frank Smith was full of praise for the Hornets’ performance.
“They were defensively well organised, worked very hard out of possession and were a real threat going forward,” he told ‘OTBC’, City’s matchday programme.
Beppe Sannino’s side followed that up with a hard-fought 1-0 away win over Stevenage in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night, with summer signing Lloyd Dyer bagging the crucial goal.
After a mixed campaign in 2013-14, during which Sannino replaced countryman Gianfranco Zola as manager, Dyer was one of ten new faces to come through the door in the close season.
The standout signings were Matej Vydra, who returned to the club for a second loan spell from Udinese, Ecuador international Juan Carlos Paredes and former Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.
Vydra’s reuniting with strike partner Troy Deeney has helped raise the expectations bar for the Hertfordshire outfit this season.
“Automatic promotion is the target and is expected by most of those around the club, including the head coach and players,” added Smith.
Experienced coach Giuseppe ‘Beppe’ Sannino took charge at Vicarage Road in December 2013 after the departure of Gianfranco Zola.
Known for his energetic displays on the touchline during games, Sannino venture to English football marks the first time he’s managed outside his native Italy.
As a player, the 57-year-old was a striker who enjoyed the most fruitful part of his career with A.C. Vogherese in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
After two years as a janitor in a psychiatric ward, Sannino began a coaching pathway in the Italian lower leagues and went on to lead Lecco, Pergocrema and Varese to promotion, enhancing his reputation along the way.
He managed Siena in Serie A, with other spells at Palermo and Chievo Verona preceding his move to Watford, who are owned by Italian Giampaolo Pozzo.
Sannino led the Hornets to six consecutive home matches without conceding a goal last season, a club record.
Goalkeepers: Heurelho Gomes, Jonathan Bond.
Defenders: Gabrielle Angella, Joel Ekstrand, Lloyd Doyley, Juan Carlos Paredes, Craig Cathcart, Gabriel Tamas, Daniel Pudil, Josh Doherty, Tommie Hoban.
Midfielders: Luke O’Nien, Gianni Munari, Keith Andrews, Cristian Battocchio, Daniel Tozser, Lewis McGugan, Sean Murray, Ikechi Anya, Almen Abdi, Lloyd Dyer, Connor Smith, George Byers, Iriney.
Forwards: Troy Deeney (c), Fernando Forestieri, Mathias Ranegie, Diego Fabbrini, Matej Vydra, Odion Ighalo, Uche Ikpeazu, Bernard Mensah.