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Watford move quickly to appoint another Italian to replace Zola

| 18.12.2013

Watford have moved quickly to replace Gianfranco Zola as their manager, announcing the appointment of another Italian, Giuseppe Sannino, as the new man at the Vicarage Road helm.

Sannino is installed as Watford boss just two days after Zola tendered his resignation to the club’s Pozzo family owners and will take charge of his first match when the Hornets travel to face Ipswich at the weekend.

A nine-game run without a win saw Zola slink away with Watford in 13th place in the Championship and as a result the club are 10/1 outsiders to be promoted to the Premier League this season, with winning the second tier a distant 66/1 chance.

However, the 56-year-old, who had been out of work since being sacked by Serie A outfit Chievo in November, joins the club with a raft of lower-league experience having spent his entire managerial career in Italy’s lower reaches, until taking over at Siena in 2011/12.

He will bring three assistant coaches with him to fill out the back room staff and has a coaching CV that spans 17 years and 13 clubs, the highlight of which came with the Tuscan side when steering them clear of relegation while reaching the Coppa Italia semi-finals.

His remit at Watford will obviously be to arrest the winless run the club finds itself in first, swelling their 50/1 odds for relegation in the process, before starting the ascent up the league table with perhaps a spot in the play-offs their most likely landing spot.

There’s a good chance that they can get underway with that plan in Sannino’s very first game, as Watford have won five of the last six meetings with the Tractor Boys and all of the last three at Portman Road.

The Hornets are therefore a great price at 15/8 to win the match, with Ipswich at 11/8 for victory and the draw available at 12/5.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.