Watford Preview

When? Saturday 25th September with a good old fashioned 3pm kick off

Where? Vicarage Road.

No Live UK TV coverage – One to watch on Match of the Day (or not)

We move onto EPL Match Day 6 and NUFC are still without a win this season. Time to worry or time for calm heads? The Corbridge Commander clearly looks rattled. Anyone who rolls their eyes when Lee Ryder asks a simple question is worried, and worrying.

It’s looking more and more like a Mexican Stand-off between Bruce and his bosses. He appears a broken man and is snapping at all journalists who dare to question his commitment to the cause.

I won’t go too much into the post-Leeds debate as @smord84 covers the match here –  whilst @tfalex1892, @charlottehope and Norman have their usual brilliant podcast, that you can pick up for free here 

What I would like to say is, yet again, it took a change in formation on Friday night for us to look like picking up a win. When will Bruce realise that we are a far better outfit with 4 at the back than 5? Whilst it was an entertaining game for the neutral, a point at home to an injury ravaged Leeds defence really wasn’t good enough. When is a three-point haul gonna come?

We travel to The Hornets on Saturday hoping to pick up that much-needed win. With a solitary 2 points on the board, and sitting in the nervous position of 18th, with only Norwich and Burnley propping us up, we need to go out and pick up maximum points at Vicarage Road.

Watford, along with the likes of Norwich are up and down like a bride’s nightie. They can’t decide whether they belong in the Premier League or the Championship. They are the traditional YoYo club. With more managers than most, they’ve gone through a staggering 17 permanent bosses since Aidy Boothroyd moved on in November 2008!!! And they say stability is key!

Watford have started the season well, and have some excellent players amongst their ranks. Having changed their manager yet again in 2020 (I must admit to having to Google their current Gaffer Xisco Munoz,) they will be full of confidence. They sit in relative comfort in 11th in the Greed League with 2 wins and 3 defeats from their opening 5 games of the campaign.

The Hornets have an array of talent amongst their ranks, none better than Ismaila Sarr, who’s a prodigious talent. Quick, skilful and with an eye for goal, we’ll need to watch him closely. I also note that they have an array of ex-Newcastle players in the squad, with the recent acquisition of Moussa Sissoko at £10m looking like decent business (CFM edit – you must be funking joking, he’s shite). Danny Rose has also signed for them, which is superb news for the local chippies. Dan Gosling and Rob Elliot are also on the Hornets’ payroll. Whilst I don’t know a great deal about Watford’s performances this season, I hear that Emmanuel Dennis is a real talent up front too.

Looking back at past results, we don’t have a great record down there, with our last win coming in the championship season of 2010, beating them 2-1 with goals from Coloccini and a certain Andrew Carroll, who’s been pretty vocal about his treatment at the end of last season. If only we had a fit striker amongst our ranks eh?

Saturday will be a tough one for us. Watford like to play attractive football, and we…. we don’t really do we? No doubt the Steve’s and Graeme will set us up not to lose (as per) hope to use the pace and trickery of ASM up top to nick a goal.

Will there be a sting in the tail on Saturday? Will Bruce bother selecting an actual striker in Wilson’s continued absence? Will Gayle get a sniff? So many questions that will be answered at 2pm on Saturday.

Onto my prediction. Coming off the back of my correct score prediction against Leeds, I’m once again going for a 1-1 draw. Blind optimism or just desperation for us not to lose? I’m not sure, but if we play with energy and attacking intent, we have a chance. I’m a lot more confident with Darlow as our returned custodian than Woodman, who, quite frankly, doesn’t look up to the rigours of the Premier League.

Could 6 games without a win (7 if you include the cup game) see the end of Steve Bruce? Only time will tell…

For those making the trip down the road, safe travels, and get behind the team as always.

Paul Karter @peekeekay