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    Watford v Sunderland: Flores’ last game in charge of Hornets

    By Alex Easley
    Quique Sanchez Flores will leave his post as Watford head coach next week.
    Quique Sanchez Flores will take charge of his final Watford game when Sunderland travel to Vicarage Road on Sunday.

    Despite guiding the Hornets to Premier League safety as well as an FA Cup semi-final appearance, it was announced today (Friday) that the Spaniard will be leaving at the end of the season.

    The soon to be former Watford head coach said: "I'm very grateful to the players, I love these Watford fans, I felt completely happy this year and I enjoyed the experience," said Flores.

    "We have a lot of reasons to be happy, so a lot of good memories of this season. The Watford fans were amazing and they gave me a lot of love."

    Former Inter Milan and Napoli head Walter Mazzarri is believed to be the frontrunner to replace Flores at Watford.

    While Watford search for a new manager, Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has been praised after saving the club from relegation and maintain top-flight status for a tenth successive season.

    The Black Cats beat Everton 3-0 on Wednesday to ensure their survival and relegate rivals Newcastle, as well as Norwich who both join Aston Villa in the Championship next season.

    Big Sam was quoted as saying: "My idea is to play some younger players on Sunday.

    "The under-21s have had a great year and I think that some of them need to play in the team to see if they can cope at this level when the pressure is off.

    "That's not saying we will go there and lie down because I expect these lads to compete at this level and show why there may be a place for them in the squad in the future."
    Sunderland secured Premier League safety on Wednesday with a 3-0 win over Everton.

    Watford continue to be without Valon Behrami and Etienne Capoue but otherwise Flores has a fully fit squad to select from for his last game.

    Allardyce will mix things up and several regular starters can expect to stand down, with chances on offer for those who have sat out recently.

    Jordan Pickford, George Honeyman, Tommy Robson, Liam Agnew and Rees Greenwood could come into the side.



    Watford won the reverse fixture 1-0 in December - their first league win over Sunderland since 1999 (D2, L4).


    Watford have lost seven of their last 10 league matches (W2, D1).

    The Hornets won 29 points from their first 18 matches this season - they have taken just 15 from their subsequent 19 games.

    Troy Deeney has scored three times in his last three Premier League games, as many as in his previous 16 combined.

    Deeney has set up seven goals for Odion Ighalo this season in the Premier League - no player has provided more assists for another more often.


    Sunderland are unbeaten in their last five games and have only lost one of their last 10 (W3, D6).

    However, they have won just one of their last seven Premier League away matches (D4, L2).

    Sunderland have named the same starting XI for seven games in succession, something they've never done before in the Premier League.

    They spent 237 days in the bottom three this season - only Southampton in 1998-99 were in the relegation zone for longer without being relegated (252).

    K.O. 3PM – 15/05/2016
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    Item Reviewed: Watford v Sunderland: Flores’ last game in charge of Hornets Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Alex Easley
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