Nottingham Forest Preview - Away, Feb 5th
AS BAD luck would have it, Watford head to the City Ground to take on Nottingham Forest just as they hit their most impressive patch of form this Championship season. Currently on a run of 14 league games unbeaten, their last defeat at Fratton Park back in October just a week later it all began with a 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road.
Billy Davies had a relativly successful January Transfer Window, bringing in Liverpool`s experienced but out-of-favour left-back Paul Konchesky on loan for the remainder of the campaign. With Martin Kelly preferred at Anfield at full-back these days by Kenny Dalglish the forer Fulham defender arrived in Nottingham on deadline day until the end of the campaign.
American international Robbie Findlay completed his move from MLS outfit Real Salt Lake on a free transfer to bulk up Davies already meaty attacking options.
In terms of outs, defender Kelvin Wilson, formerly of Notts County and Preston North End agreed a bosman transfer to Scottish giants Celtic for the Summer but the two clubs were unable to agree a deal to bring the 25 year-old to Parkhead early.
Young striker Joe Garner left on loan once more having been at Huddersfield Town on a temporary basis until January. The former Blackburn academy product has since joined Championship strugglers Scunthorpe United until the end of the campaign. Billy Davies has since assured Garner he does still have a future with the Tricky Trees.
Nottingham Forest Team News: Paul Konchesky will continue at left-back having made his Reds debut in midweek against Coventry City.
Striker Dexter Blackstock is out with cruciate ligament damage whilst USA cap Robbie Findlay won`t be involved due to a thigh injury. Marcus Tudgay, signed recently following a loan spell and Robbie Earnshaw look most likely to start up top.
Former Wycombe forward Nathan Tyson is also sidelined by a back problem.
Powerful midfielder Guy Moussi has a thigh problem also.
Line-up Vs. Coventry City: Camp; Gunter, Chambers, Morgan, Konchesky; Anderson, McGugan, Moussi, Cohen; Tudgay and Earnshaw.
Key Player: Robbie Earnshaw: Diminutive striker has virtually always scored goals throughout his career and at Forest has been no different. The Zambian-born Wales cap did however struggle with rivals Derby County during a season-long spell with the Rams scoring once.
Having made his name with Cardiff City with 86 league goals in 146 league starts. Further success came at West Brom who shelled out £3m before Norwich City paid £3.5m for his services. It was at Norwich where 'Earnie` earnt a second crack at the Premiership with Derby before he moved directly to deadly rivals Forest for £2.65m meaning his transfer total had reached over £12m.
The 29 year-old has 34 goals in 62 games for his current employers.
Home Form: Nottingham Forest 2-2 Barnsley, Nottingham Forest 2-1 Portsmouth and Nottingham Forest 1-0 Bristol City.
Head2 Head Form: Watford 2-1 Nottingham Forest (08/09), Nottingham Forest 4-2 Watford, Watford 0-0 Nottingham Forest (09/10) and Watford 1-1 Nottingham Forest (10/11).
Watford Team News: John Eustace returned to action against Crystal Palace on Tuesday along with Lee Hodson, both of whom should continue in the starting XI.
Winger Don Cowie is unlikely to return in time for Saturday so Andros Towsend will continue down the left.
Marvin Sordell`s foot flared up in training ahead of Palace so he missed out and could only be fit enough for a place on the bench. Andy Weimann would take his place once more.
Likely Line-up: Loach; Hodson, Mariappa, Taylor, Doyley; Eustace (c); Buckley, McGinn, Townsend; Weimann and Graham.
Away Form: Queens Park Rangers 1-3 Watford, Scunthorpe United 1-2 Watford and Cardiff City 4-2 Watford.
Officials: Referee: Mr G D SCOTTM; Assistant Referees: Mr C Dexter and Mr G Law; Fourth Official: Mr M Howes.
Betting: Nottingham Forest 10/11 (Totesport) Draw 5/2 (Bet365) Watford 7/2 (BlueSq.)