Watford sacked Xisco Munoz following their 1-0 defeat to Leeds on Saturday. 69-year-old Claudio Ranieri, who was a free agent since leaving Sampdoria at the end of last season, will take charge.

Claudio Ranieri
Claudio Ranieri returns to the Premier League after two-and-a-half years to take over at Watford. (Image: skysports.com)

In the Premier League alone, Ranieri worked at Chelsea, Leicester, and Fulham. The Italian coach won the championship in the 2015-2016 miracle season at Leicester, but was sacked just months after in February 2017. Since then, he moved to France to coach Nantes for a season, then had three months at Fulham in 2018-19. In the past two-and-a-half years, Ranieri was engaged with home clubs AS Roma, then Sampdoria. Watford will be the 18th club in his career. Ranieri also coached the Greece national team in 2014 for less than four months.

Watford, who won promotion to the Premier League last season, currently sits in 15th place. The Hornets won seven points in their first seven games, and are expected to be involved in the survival race.

Owned by the Pozzo family, Watford changed 13 managers since the Italians took over in 2012. The average for a coach in charge under Pozzo is 266 days. Ranieri arrived at Watford’s training ground on Monday afternoon before being unveiled as the club’s new manager.

Watford, second from bottom in the relegation odds battle

The bookies don’t believe Watford has too big a chance to avoid the drop this season. They’re at +100 to escape relegation. Only Norwich is doing worse, at -112. The other newcomers, Brentford, complete the predicted bottom three at +110. Crystal Palace is at +175, while Burnley stands at +240 and Newcastle at +270. Southampton isn’t regarded as too safe themselves, at +450, the same as Wolves.

Do you want to go for a Leicester-esque Watford miracle under Ranieri? They are at +50000 to win the Premier League this season — tied at the bottom along with Brentford, Burnley, Crystal Palace, and Norwich. A top-four finish for Watford is now at +8000.

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