August 21, 2015

Promoted Watford have made a steady start to life back in the Premier League with two creditable draws and are looking to secure their first win of the season in Sunday's home match against Southampton.

The Hornets drew 2-2 at Everton on the opening weekend and played out a goalless draw at Vicarage Road against West Bromwich Albion last weekend.

Watford dominated the match against the Baggies and created a number of chances but couldn't force a winner against a well-organised defence.

Striker Odion Ighalo believes the home supporters can play a big part in helping the Hornets get a positive result against Southampton.

"Since I arrived at Watford, the fans have been amazing," the Nigeria international told his club's official website. "They've done a great job supporting the team, and even if we are losing, they are always behind us. We need them to come in numbers again on Sunday to support us, and I'm sure we can give them a result because we have a good team here with good players.

"Southampton are a good side, we will need to find more space and defend well because they are a good team. It will be an open game, not like the one against West Brom."

The Saints' form is a worry for manager Ronald Koeman. They opened their new league campaign with a 2-2 draw at Newcastle United but crashed to a 3-0 home defeat against Everton last weekend.

Southampton were all at sea against the Toffees, who could have won by a wider margin.

Koeman then watched his side get held to a disappointing 1-1 draw at St Mary's on Thursday by Danish side FC Midtjylland in the first leg of their Europa League qualifying playoff tie, during which Jay Rodriguez scored his first goal since March 2014. England forward Rodriguez, who had been out for over a year with a serious knee injury, netted Southampton's equaliser with a 56th-minute penalty.

The 52-year-old Koeman admits Southampton need to beat Watford to boost morale within the squad.

"Of course after the defeat against Everton we need a win. We know that," Koeman said. "A win gives confidence to the players. It's important to get a good result this Sunday. Sometimes you don't want to put too much pressure on winning, but the best is to learn about mistakes.

"Saturday we will have the last session to prepare for the game on Sunday, but we know what we like to do and we know how we like to play. That's the most important thing. I believe every game we will be stronger. We will have more organisation, but we have to improve and of course that is easier when you win games."

Former Italy midfielder Alessandro Diamanti, who has joined Watford on a season-long loan from Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande, could make his debut against the Saints if he receives international clearance. Two other new signings, Giedrius Arlauskis and Miguel Britos, are finally available following suspensions.

Southampton's Ryan Bertrand and Jordy Clasie are out with knee and hamstring problems, respectively, while Fraser Forster is a long-term absentee with a knee injury.

These sides last met in the Championship in 2011-12. Southampton smashed the Hornets 4-0 at home and 3-0 in the two games en route to promotion.

Watford's last win against the Saints dates back October 2008 when the won 3-0 at St. Mary's in a second-tier match.

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