Vital Football

Latest Watford FC News

Stoke Preview - Home, March 15th

Stoke Preview - Home, March 15th

Part One: Bristol City 0-0 Watford. Part Two: Second-placed Stoke visit the Hornets on Saturday and three points are a must, if not, this passionate pundit reckons automatic promotion is gone for this season and a trip to Wembley could follow…

The Potters hold a slender three points gap over the Hornets, but, should Boothroyd`s mob get three points on Saturday, they climb to second on goal difference. If Stoke win, a six-point gap at this stage of the season seems unassailable.

It`s times like these that you`re glad your side goes for efficiency over style, the likes of Dan Shittu, Leigh Bromby, John Eustace and Darius Henderson will certainly be up for the scrap come kick off and although the visitors are equally powerful, they`re equally, if not more effective. Yet, despite containing a squad with Ricky Fuller, Mama Sidibe, Jon Parkin and Leon Cort, the Potters certainly do not lack guile either. The likes of Liam Lawrence, Richard Creswell, Danny Pugh and Glen Whelan are all men who prefer their service on the floor.

Sometime we make comparisons between one player and another and really, they aren`t great. However, on this occasion, it`s fair to say Dan Shittu will meet his match in Leon Cort. Both came into this division with clubs promoted from the old Division Two, even older, Division Three. Both are MASSIVE, both moved for big money and both are a massive threat for their teams in both boxes. Yes, Dan Shittu and Leon Cort are probably the most similar players in this division.

Liam Lawrence is one man who has sparkled this season under Tony Pulis, but he`s by no means the last. Let go on-loan by Sunderland last season before joining for a fee of 500k, the former Mansfield protégée has proven Roy Keane wrong. It was at the Stadium of Light that Lawrence made his name, winning promotion before being relegated subsequently. Sunderland`s loss, and Keane`s mistake has been Stoke`s gain and the wideman has provided the Potters with 14 goals from right midfield, prior to this campaign he`d only managed 2 league strikes in a red-and-white striped shirt.

Another man banging in the goals is Ricardo Fuller who`s also on fourteen. Fuller is the original mix of pace and power up front. A terrifying figure at this level where he also earnt a superb goal ratio with 27 in 57 starts, at the Britannia the Jamaican cap has 24 in 59. Lethal probably isn`t the word to describe this boy, but if you`re looking for a quick put down, his international record reads 4 in 32, one every eight. Fuller has had his fair share of turmoil over the years, leaving Preston to join Portsmouth where he managed just one strike before being flogged to newly-relegated Southampton for £90,000, a loss of £910,000 for Pompey. Perhaps not capable of performing at the highest level, but how many players at this level truly are?

Leon Cort has chipped in with more goals than you`d expect for a centre half, notching seven goals in 25 starts. Much like our own Dan Shittu the big man is a huge threat from set-plays which is where most of his goals have come from. All the same, it`s invaluable to any team to have someone who can finish off set-plays, else what`s the point? A strong, determined, brave centre-half by trade, Cort joined the Potters on-loan from Crystal Palace who took Clint Hill in return. The deals were both made permanent after successful run-ups to Christmas and now back in the North Cort is in the form of his life.
We all know about Manchester United wonderkids, but I doubt many Manchester United 'fans` have even heard of Ryan Shawcross. Not a single game at Old Trafford, yet Tony Pulis had the foresight to use the loan market to bring Shawcross to The Potteries. Seven goals and outstanding displays have been his reward and, a million later, Pulis had assembled the other half of his defence. That`s not to say that the Shawcross-Cross pivot across the back is set in stone, Jody Craddock enjoyed a loan spell for Stoke as did Gabrial Zakuani, at the moment, Chris Riggott is on-loan with a view to a permanent move whilst Dom Matteo adds to the defensive options.

Though they might not all be household names, those with any Championship knowledge have to agree that Stoke City have the squad to win promotion, the question, as with so many Football League teams, do they have enough to stay up?

Probably not, so let`s be the kindly Uncle and take second spot off of them, yes? Come on the 'Ornssss!

Stoke XI?
Nash, Griffin (c), Cort, Riggott, Dickinson; Lawrence, Delap, Diao, Pugh; Cresswell and Sidibe.

Watford XI?
Lee; Bromby, DeMerit, Shittu, Sadler; Smith, Eustace, Williamson, McAnuff; Henderson and John.

Recent Meetings
0708: Stoke 0-0 Watford
0506: Watford 1-0 Stoke
Stoke 0-3 Watford

Writer:wfc123
Date:Friday March 14 2008
Time: 8:48AM

Comments

0
Come on fellas this is a must win game if you are get back into the premiership..
Chix
15/03/2008 09:58:00
0
big match for the title fight do you have it in you not sure i pick stoke 1-0
ozanne park rangers
20/03/2008 20:36:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Watford Articles

Dyer Finds A New Home?

During his time with the Hornets Dyer struggled for first-team football, ending last season on loan with Birmingham, and following his exit he is ready to sign for Ipswich.

Flores - All Credit To Tottenham

Head coach Quique Sanchez Flores has given his thoughts following the one nil loss to Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend.

Gomes & Suarez Talk Spurs

Goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes and January arrival Mario Suarez have both given their thoughts following defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend.

Vital View - Tottenham 1-0 Watford

The wait for a win over Tottenham goes on for Watford with a second half goal earning Spurs a one-nil win that took them up to second at that stage behind leaders Leicester.

Archived Vital Watford Articles

Vital Watford articles from

Site Journalists

Harry Welch
Profile
KDCallanan
Profile
chrisgwfc
Profile
Colin Cowan
Profile
Alex Moore
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Spurs MotM
Suggested By: Site Staff
Gomes88%
Nyom3%
Cathcart0%
Britos0%
Ake6%
Suarez0%
Watson0%
Abdi0%
Capoue0%
Jurado0%
Ighalo0%
Sub - Behrami0%
Sub - Deeney0%
Sub - Prodl3%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Leicester City 25 15 8 2 53 20
2 Spurs 25 13 9 3 48 26
3 Arsenal 25 14 6 5 48 17
4 Man City 25 14 5 6 47 21
5 Man Utd 25 11 8 6 41 10
6 West Ham 25 10 9 6 39 9
7 Southampton 25 10 7 8 37 9
8 Everton 25 8 11 6 35 12
9 Liverpool 25 9 8 8 35 -4
10 Watford 25 9 6 10 33 0
11 Stoke 25 9 6 10 33 -7
12 Crystal Palace 25 9 5 11 32 -4
13 Chelsea 25 7 9 9 30 -2
14 WBA 25 7 8 10 29 -9
15 AFC Bournemouth 25 7 7 11 28 -12
16 Swansea 25 6 9 10 27 -9
17 Newcastle 25 6 6 13 24 -18
18 Norwich 25 6 5 14 23 -20
19 Sunderland 25 5 5 15 20 -19
20 Aston Villa 25 3 7 15 16 -20
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Watford Fixtures (view all)

Feb 13 2016 3:00PM : Crystal Palace (a)
Barclays Premier League
Feb 20 2016 3:00PM : Leeds United (H)
FA Cup
Feb 27 2016 3:00PM : AFC Bournemouth (H)
Barclays Premier League
Mar 2 2016 8:00PM : Manchester United (a)
Barclays Premier League
Mar 5 2016 5:30PM : Leicester City (H)
Barclays Premier League
Mar 12 2016 3:00PM : West Ham United (a)
Barclays Premier League

Recent Watford Results (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.David Allen1