The Black Cats’ comprehensive 3-0 success at Hillsborough against Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night, coupled with North End’s 4-0 hammering at the hands of West Bromwich Albion at Deepdale, has cut the gap for Tony Mowbray’s side, who have been firing on all cylinders recently – aside from a 1-0 loss to Cardiff City over a week ago.
That was a brief blip however as the Wearsiders got back to winning ways a few days ago, but for their opponents on Wednesday night in the form of Watford, they are struggling once again to get any kind of form together.

The Hornets hierarchy once again changed managers over the summer, with Valerien Ismael getting the chance in the hot-seat at Vicarage Road, but after nine matches of the 2023-24 season they sit in 20th position, with just two wins in the opening weeks of the campaign.


What has David Prutton predicted for Sunderland v Watford?

Sky Sports pundit David Prutton, who leads the company’s EFL coverage having played for numerous clubs in his career, believes that Sunderland are going to rack up yet another win, piling more pressure on Ismael in the Hornets dugout.

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray has no regrets over his selection decision  against Cardiff City - Chronicle Live

“Sunderland could have hardly picked a better game to bounce back from defeat than heading to Sheffield Wednesday,” Prutton wrote in his Sky Sports predictions column.

“Not to take anything away from Tony Mowbray’s exciting young side, but from the moment they scored it was pretty much a training game.

“Watford are struggling. Nine points from nine games.


“Rob Edwards only got 10 last season before being sacked, and he collected 14 from those.


“It has only been a couple of weeks since they were in talks with Valerien Ismael over a new contract, but he is under pressure now.

Ismaël: “It's Been A Good Start” - Watford FC

“He could be under more soon, as I have a feeling he’ll be leaving the North East with nothing. 2-0.”
Is Valerien Ismael’s job in danger if Watford lose v Sunderland?
You’d expect that considering how trigger-happy Watford owner Gino Pozzo is, Ismael will already be feeling the pressure and some kind of trepidation when it comes to his job.

It was only a few weeks ago when it was reported that tentative talks had begun over extending the Frenchman’s contract at Vicarage Road, but that was after six games of the season and Watford were in 12th position.
Three matches later and Watford have now dropped to 20th in the standings and have picked up just one point from their last three games, so you’d probably bet your life on Pozzo looking at the table and thinking a change could be needed.

Rob Edwards was sacked around this time last season with more points on the board and unless Pozzo has drastically changed his way of thinking, then a defeat at the Stadium of Light could really be costly for Ismael.

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