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These stats suggest Watford and Nigel Pearson will avoid the drop – opinion

Watford didn’t leave the relegation zone for the opening 21 weeks of the Premier League season and were cut adrift six points from safety after just 11 weeks. Furthermore, the Hornets went through two managers before the turn of the year, after they reappointed Quique Sanchez Flores; which proved to be a spectacular failure as the manager won just one of his matches in charge. Escape artist Nigel Pearson joined the Hornets shortly after and set about repeating the incredible feat he had managed with Leicester City five years earlier.

In the 11 Premier League matches since Pearson took charge of Watford, there has been a seismic shift in their form, winning four games – four times the number of games as before he joined. Along with quadrupling the Hornets total wins, Pearson has trebled their total number of points from eight, when he took charge in December, to 24 now.

The sharp upturn in results has put Watford back amongst the fight for Premier League survival and they currently sit just a point from safety, though West Ham and Aston Villa above both have a game in hand. But what sets the Hornets apart is their form. Over the period since Pearson made his English top-flight return, Watford have picked up more points than Leicester City, Manchester United and Chelsea. In total, they have accumulated 16 points, with a goal difference of plus five, which could be vitally important come to the end of the season.

Having found the back of the net just 24 times Watford are the Premier League’s joint-second lowest scorers this season, but in their last 11 matches, they have scored 15 – 63 percent of their strikes this term. Pearson has been helped by the return of captain and talisman Troy Deeney, who has had a hand in six goals in his past nine appearances, via five goals and one assist.

After a catastrophic opening half of the season, Watford are finally back on track and peaking at just the right time. While relegation rivals West Ham and Aston Villa flounder near the foot of the form table, the Hornets are timing it right to give themselves the best opportunity to stay afloat.

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Premier League Table

# Team MP W D L P
1 Liverpool 35 30 3 2 93
2 Manchester City 35 23 3 9 72
3 Chelsea 35 18 6 11 60
4 Leicester City 35 17 8 10 59
5 Manchester United 34 16 10 8 58
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 35 14 13 8 55
7 Sheffield United 35 14 12 9 54
8 Tottenham Hotspur 35 14 10 11 52
9 Arsenal 35 12 14 9 50
10 Burnley 35 14 8 13 50
11 Everton 35 12 9 14 45
12 Southampton 34 13 5 16 44
13 Newcastle United 35 11 10 14 43
14 Crystal Palace 35 11 9 15 42
15 Brighton & Hov… 35 8 12 15 36
16 West Ham United 35 9 7 19 34
17 Watford 35 8 10 17 34
18 AFC Bournemouth 35 8 7 20 31
19 Aston Villa 35 8 6 21 30
20 Norwich City 35 5 6 24 21

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