At the start of the 2015-16, Watford were among our favourites for relegation from the Premier League.

However, while this is still a mathematical possibility, we think it’s highly unlikely. Let’s take a look at the Hornets’ season so far…

Ladbrokes odds for 2015/16 (as of March 2016)

Top goal-scorer in 2015-16: Odion Ighalo: 80/1

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History in the Premier League

Watford have only been in the Premier League twice. The first time was the 1999-00 season, during which many bookmakers were right in predicting that the Hornets would be relegated by the end of the season.

They had some encouraging early results under experienced manager, Graham Taylor, including wins over Liverpool and Chelsea.

Despite this, Watford only won three more matches for the rest of the 1999-00 season and went down in last place. Their tally of just 24 points was then the lowest in Premier League history.

Watford returned to the Premier League for the 2006-07 season, and then again after a 2nd place finish in the Championship during the 2014-15 season.

Manager

Quique Sánchez-Flores

Quique Sánchez-Flores spent time as head coach of the Real Madrid youth team, before taking the reins at Getafe for the 2004-05 La Liga season. Getafe were favourites for relegation, yet Flores was able to lead his side to 13th place by the end of the season.

This impressive feat caught the eye of Valencia, who Flores guided to third place in La Liga in 2006-07 and the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

The Spaniard became head coach of Benfica in May 2008, with whom he went on to win the Portuguese League Cup and gain a third-place league finish during his sole year in charge.

Flores took the helm of Atlético Madrid in October 2009, with whom he achieved a ninth-place finish in La Liga during 2009-10. In that season, he also led Atlético to victory in the Europa League final over Fulham, as well as gaining a runners-up spot in the Copa del Rey.

Flores became head coach of newly-promoted Watford in June 2015, just in time for the new season. After a good run in the first half of 2015-16, Watford were in seventh place at Christmas. As a result, Flores received the Manager of the Month award.

Key player

Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney

Much of the reason for Watford’s impressive 2015-16 campaign is down to the great form of strike duo, Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo, having scored most of Watford’s goals between them.

As we approach the end of the season, their goals have dried up a bit. Yet with little chance of relegation, the duo can relax a little.

All-in-all, Watford’s season has been a success, despite the fact that results in the tail end of the season haven’t matched those in the first half.

In most of the games they’ve played so far, Watford have put up a real fight. This must be encouraging to a club that was widely expected to end the season with relegation.

It is still possible that the Hornets will go down, but, here at Ladbrokes, we highly doubt they will, which is why we’ve taken them off the betting for the relegation battle.

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