On Saturday, Reading look to make it three wins from three at home to newly relegated Watford.

Below we take a look at what you should know about the Royals’ opponents.

Recent Background

The Hertfordshire-based side have spent the previous five seasons in the Premier League, having bounced around the top two divisions for many years before their last promotion in 2015.

2019/20 was a torrid season for the club as they went through five managers, and despite looking set to avoid the drop with two games remaining, the club sacked experienced Nigel Pearson, lost their two remaining games under former Royal Hayden Mullins and were relegated to the Championship.

The year previously they had been beaten FA Cup finalists, losing 6-0 to Manchester City in the show piece at Wembley, and finished a very respectable 11th.

Now they have hired Serbian Vladimir Ivic, former teammate of Reading manager Veljko Paunovic, and have picked up seven points from their first nine available.

Key Players

As one would expect from a team just relegated from the Premier League, the Hornet’s side is packed full of experienced professionals who have spent a long time playing topflight football.

In goal they predominantly use former England international Ben Foster, who has managed to age like a fine wine, producing some of his best performances well into his mid-thirties.

A defensive line-up includes names such as Daryl Janmaat, Craig Cathcart and Christian Kabasele, with the likes of Ben Wilmot and Jeremy Ngakia bringing the average age down considerably.

The midfield includes former Championship stars such as Will Hughes and former Royal Nathaniel Chalobah, whilst the threat of having Gerard Deulofeu and Ismaila Sarr squaring up against Omar Richards or Tom Holmes will fill any Reading fan with dread.

Then their list of attackers: Troy Deeney, Danny Welbeck, Andre Gray and even Glenn Murray

It is a good job they are all ageing, because a strike force including any of those in their peak is enough to tear the division apart, as they have all done in the past.

With foreign relative unknowns like Joao Pedro and Adalberto Peñaranda thrown into the mix, they the makings of a scary proposition in this league.


The sides have faced each other an impressive 118 times, with the first meeting back in Division Three South in 1921, a 2-1 Reading victory.

The last time these two met was in the League Cup in 2018, a comfortable 2-0 win for the Hornets that evening at the Madejski with Isaac Success and Domingos Quina scoring some memorable goals.

Overall the record favours this weekend’s visitors, with Watford winning on 48 occasions, Reading on 44 and 26 draws.


Reading are 11/5 to win, a draw is 23/10 and an away win is 5/4, all according to SkyBet and correct at time of writing.