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Question Time: Watford v Bolton Wanderers

We always like to know who we are facing come Saturday, and what better way than to ask the most insightful Watford blog I could find on a 3 AM google search.

Mike Hewitt

It's time for some opposition research.  Bolton Wanderers travel south to Watford this Saturday.  Over the past few days I have had the pleasure of speaking with the editor, designer, and Supreme Chancellor of, Jamie Leah.  He was kind enough to answer all of my questions about his football club, and I will return this courtesy on his site later this week.  If you want to hear more of Jamie's insight, you can follow him on Twitter, where he is @thisisjamieleah.  For general info about Watford FC, you can follow @forzawatford.

Who is Watford's best player, and what danger will he pose to Bolton Wanderers on August 9th?

Almen Abdi, who won Watford's 2012-13 Player of the Season award before missing the majority of the 2013-14 campaign with a knee injury, will be welcomed back with open arms.

Since his arrival at Vicarage Road, Abdi has been metronomic in the middle of the park, pulling the strings (and opposition defenders) from the midfield. Most of our attacking play tends to go through the Swiss midfielder and during his absence last season, the side often seemed flat and uninspired.

We all know Watford has an Italian connection, but how does it actually work?

Our Italian owners, the Pozzo family, also own Serie A side Udinese and La Liga outfit Granada, which enables the club to take advantage of a global scouting network that has previously brought the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Juan Cuadrado to Europe.

Their ownership has allowed Watford to bring players in of a much higher standard than they could hope for under the previous regime and, what's more, these additions are effectively free.

While the club is often criticised for utilising this alternative method, it is worth noting that the Pozzos saved the club from the brink of administration and have spent money to improve both the stadium and the training facilities, all while other owners spend beyond their club's means, building up massive debts in the process.

Marvin Sordell seemingly fell to pieces when he moved to Bolton, and went to Burnley this summer for a fraction of what we paid you for him. Were there warning signs when he was with you guys?

Sordell certainly had talent, enough to make it in the Premier League, but he was very inconsistent for Watford. In terms of warning signs, the mental aspect of his game was noticeably weak.

If he started a game well or was confident the goals would flow, but if he had a bad day he had a tendency to let it affect him.

A notable example of this was the 1-1 draw with Leeds United in 2011; he missed a great chance and then failed to convert a stoppage-time penalty, before Leeds went up the other end and scored their own penalty to equalise even later in the game. There were suggestions that he cried on the way off the pitch that day which may, to some, suggest that he was mentally frail. However, that may be a bit harsh given the situation.

So, yes, there were some warning signs but the talent was clearly there during his time at Vicarage Road. Former boss Sean Dyche might be the man to get the best out of him at Turf Moor.

What are the owners' expectations for the season? Do the fans feel this is realistic?

Watford's owners, the Pozzo family, have given head coach Giuseppe Sannino the tools he needs to get out of this division and I think fans feel that promotion is a realistic expectation ahead of the 2014-15 campaign .

The return of Matej Vydra and Daniel Tozser on loan and the additions of several experienced players mean that the Hornets are much better equipped to reach the Premier League this time around.

I think a top-six finish is a realistic - if not slightly conservative - prediction.