Writer: Tom Bodell
Date:Saturday January 1 2011
THE SEASON moves into 2011 and the Hornet's begin the calender with a tough N.Power Championship tie against Steve Cotterill's suprise-package Portsmouth.
Tipped by many to struggle this season after their much-publicised financial difficulties, Pompey started the season poorly collecting just two points from their first six games before battering Leicester 6-1 at Fratton Park to dispense with the services of Paulo Sousa for the Foxes.
Appointed in the Summer to replace the outgoing Avram Grant, Steve Cotterill has done an impressive job at on the south coast, guiding Portsmouth to 13th in the league having previously flirted with the Play Offs.
Watford Team News: Having missed the clash with Cardiff City on Tuesday both Lee Hodson and Troy Deeney could find themselves back in contention following illness and injury respectively. However there has been no update from the club regarding their availability.
Whether they are fit to be involved or not it Malky Mackay will most likely name the same side that beat the Bluebirds comprehensively at the Vic' three days ago.
Likely Line-up: Loach; Doyley, Mariappa, M.Taylor, A.Taylor; Eustace (c); Cowie, Mutch, Buckley; Sordell and Graham.
Home Form: Watford 1-1 Reading; Watford 3-2 Leicester City and Watford 4-1 Cardiff City.
Head2Head Form: Watford 3-0 Portsmouth (League Cup) 04/05; Portsmouth 2-1 Watford; Watford 4-2 Portsmouth 07/08; Portsmouth 3-2 Watford.
Portsmouth Team News: The visitors are looking likely to be without first choice 'keeper Jamie Ashdown after he sustained a dead leg at Leeds on Tuesday so former Palace 'keeper Darryl Flahavan may be in for am emotional bow.
Ten years ago Darryl's older brother, Aaron (also a goalkeeper), was tragically killed when he crashed his car, having just become Portsmouth No.1 for the first time in his seven year associated with the club.
Line-up Vs. Leeds United: Ashdown; Halford, Rocha, Ward, Dickinson; Mullins, Mokoena, Hughes, Utaka; Kitson and Nugent.
Away Form: Swansea City 1-3 Portsmouth, Norwich City 0-2 Portsmouth and Leeds United 3-3 Portsmouth.
Key Player - David Nugent: The one-cap England international has had a fairly torrid time at Portsmouth but has finally found his shooting boots for the club with eight goals this season taking his tally for Pompey to just ten league goals having been with the club since 2007. Previously enjoyed a successful spell in the Championship with Preston having signed from Bury for a nominal fee.
Date:Saturday January 1 2011
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