Alex Neil was forced into changes due to no unavailable full backs thanks to injury and suspension. Ben Davies retruned after injury into a back three whilst Pearson came into midfield.
Barkhuizen and Sinclair played as wing backs whilst Neil opted for two up front as Maguire played alongside Riis. North End did play brightly in the first period but sloppy defending cost them.
Preston had two early chances. Maguire forced a save out of Foster and Potts curled a shot wide when he probably should have done better. The game then changed when Watford took the lead.
Johnson failed to block a cross. Quina had inexplicably managed to find space inside the six yard box despite Storey and Sinclair in close proximity. He simply tapped home into an empty net.
Bauer then had a chance to level but Foster saved well. Watford also had attempts at goal but took a one goal lead into the break. The second half. however, was a very different affair.
Shortly after the break Watford doubled their lead. Deeney chested down for Sarr. Storey dived in and whilst Sarr hurled himself to the floor the defender has to learn not to dive in. The referee gave a penalty and Deeney converted.
Preston poulled a goal back. Barkhuizen cut in from the left and had an effort from 25 yards out. The ball hit the back of Garner who was running back and defelcted past a stranded Foster to halve the defecit.
The home side soon restored a two goal lead. It was probably the only goal they really had to work for as Chalomah converted well from just inside the box.
North End had reason to complain when Riis was clearly pulled back in the box but no penalty was given. Watford extended their lead when Pedro was left unmarked from a corner inside the six yard box to tap home.
Whilst the performance was better than midweek the defending was still poor meaning that several of Watford's goals were avoidable. It was derisory and needs to be addressed before North End get embroiled in a scrap down the bottom.
Preston face Bournemouth next which will be another tricky game. North End slip further down the league and their form is now very concerning. It is unclear whether action will be taken but Alex Neil might be looking over his shoulder.