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Friday, March 06, 2009

Watford Preview

So that's it then! Reading's 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday, after being 0-1 down at half-time finally means that we won't make one of those two automatic slots after all and you'll notice that the gap between ourselves and the leaders Wolves, is already an embarrassing 40 points, a total between top and bottom that is normally not expected till seasons end.
Our demise has been so rapid, and unexpected, as a look at the table on right side of cafcpicks illustrates. It starkly highlights our pathetic expectations last summer as Ken's computer programme savagely deletes the end-of-season points forecast of each punter as the games continue to reduce our possible points total.
For your piece of mind the current possible points total is 27 plus 11 victories giving us the impossible total of 60 points. I suppose it proves that we still have a mathematical chance of survival but how exactly can we conjure up a magic formulae for winning games.
As Dickson and Kandol continue our striker goal drought - our last 11 goals have incredibly all been scored by midfielders - can we expect the imminent return of midfield wizard ZiZi to make a great difference. It's expecting a lot of one player so perhaps we should partner him up front with Stuart Fleetwood; what exactly have we got to lose?
However, its doubtful that even a 12 point gap to safety, with relegation all but achieved, will affect a change of mood inside the camp while the maths can prove otherwise and although there are fans pleading for building a team now that will be available next season, we all know it won't happen until we're definitely down. With games coming up in March against the 1st, Third and Sixth in the table perhaps we won't even survive until April but my guess is that knowing us we'll save it till a home game before bowing out, probably Birmingham.
So we should prepare to wave a goodbye to the Big Names of English football. The Prem and the fizzies; the names that we have learnt to ridicule will have the last laugh as we leave behind the top 44 teams in the country and find ourselves reduced to a mere number - League One.
Anyway, its a welcome this weekend to the worst away team in the fizzies - apart from us that is. Watford have only managed two wins on their travels, twice as many as the Addicks, although you won't like to find out that their last one was just two weeks ago, a 2-0 victory at Blackpool.

After playing host to the leagues lowest scorers, Doncaster, we now play a team with the 6th best scoring record, a total of 49 goals. But if you enjoy goals then Watfords your team because they also have the second leakest defence in the fizzies - after us of course. The Addicks top the list on goals conceded with 58 while Watford, and Norwich, follow dutifuly behind with 55.

Current Form Only two teams have failed to win away in their last 5 away games and Watford aren't one of them (The Addicks and Brum if you're interested). Flirting with death a few weeks ago, mainly due to their cup run, they entered the bottom three but have since then exploded into form with three home wins in a row over Burnley, Swansea and Palarse all without conceding a goal. As for their away form its not great with only two wins at Southampton 3-0 in october and that second one at Blackpool 2-0 a fortnight ago that gave them three wins in a row.

DangerMan Number 21 Tommy Smith currently has 13 goals and second-up is number 9, the tall Slovian Tamas Priskin on 10.

What's Their Secret? Tend to fall asleep badly in the last 5 minutes when they conceded 10 goals, nearly a fifth of their total conceded.

History Our 1-0 defeat in August spoilt a run of 4 draws in this fixture and you have to go back over 13 years to August 1995 to find the last time we beat them at home. Their last away win against us was at Sainburys in 1990 a season in which they beat us twice. But its been a fixture with an overwhelming number of drawn games with more draws than results, a massive 22 out of the 57 league games.
The current score at the Valley ( plus Norwood) is 14-4 in 28 games. Overall its 20-15 in our favour in League games.

Team News
Expect the return of ZiZi to first team action with Matt Spring giving way although we may need a five man midfield to bolster his lack of fitness.

Elliot; Butterfield, Ward, Hudson, Youga; Soares, Racon, ZiZi, Shelvey, Bailey; Dickson

Subs; Randolph, Holland, Spring, Kandol, Ambrose

Summary A team that likes scoring and conceding but doesn't really like playing away, in a fixture begging for another draw. We mustn't loss again and with both teams badly needing points we'll maybe need to score twice to get anything out of the game. Will Parky chance ZiZi and maybe Fleetwood, both fresh from the reserve game on Tuesday? Its fast approaching a time for a bit of daring-do and what have we to loss?

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